The Boston Red Sox: Defenders of the 2004 World Championship!! "Whoever plunges into his experiences with the momentum of hope, will remember so that he cannot forget." - Soren Kierkegaard.

Monday, October 18, 2004

This is a really fucked up analogy, but it occurred to me somewhere around the seventh or eighth inning of last night's game. We used to have this crazy, stunted little black cat named Merzbau who was probably too crazy and fucked up to live very long. He ended up dying in my lap when he was five, and not very peacefully. Long story, don't want to get into it. But after he went a little rigid and his eyes glazed over, the stunning reality of his death hit me all at once...but his body kept breathing. Slow, unevenly paced, hitching breaths, just a function of his dying brain trying to keep his little body going somehow, even though all the light had gone out of his eyes. And watching his body grasp and grapple and cling to life like that, even though the battle was already more or less over, upset me more than actually watching him die. I even tried to hold his nose and mouth shut so that he would just be at peace, but when he breathed again it scared me so bad that I lost my grip. So I finally just had to watch him go...and when he finally all-the-way died, it was merciful.
Such was my pain watching the second-to-last innings of this ballgame. It was like watching a long, slow death and just wishing for the sake of everyone involved that it was over. Every at bat, every close-up of every tense, sad face in the Sox dugout...I didn't want to see those guys like that. They're my heroes. I almost felt like a medieval execution victim, willing to pay the executioner to just take my head off with one, clean swipe instead of an unfortunate series of six or seven hacks. I actually teared up at one point, which is amazing since I didn't even want to watch this game and indeed, didn't think there was any emotion left in me for this team.

Mike and I went to bed around the tenth or eleventh inning, but we left the television on so we could hear the game - one of the cool things about living in a studio apartment. We crawled under about five layers of covers with sweat pants and sweat shirts and socks on, huddled up close together in the dark and waited. Leskanic pitched through another inning of scoreless relief. When we heard he got hit with the ball we made a few jokes about him getting hit in the mullet. "...and Paul Quantrill will be taking the mound for the Yankees," the announcer said. "Ooooooh, Paul Quantrill!" Mike drooled, much like a middle-aged woman on a diet would say "Oooooh, cheesecake!" I pictured Paul Quantrill's ugly little redneck pug-face and Mike and I snickered together. We heard the crack of the ball off of Manny's bat and both jumped, our heads snapping over to stare at the low wall that seperates our bed from the rest of our house as if we could see through it to the television, our ears tensed and listening. A base hit. We clapped muffled hands under the covers and shivered with delight. "Big DaDa," Mike said. I nodded wordlessly. And in no time, the ball cracked off the bat and sounded like thunder, and the crowd on the tv suddenly roared as one. Mike and I both scrambled to our knees and peered over the wall like kids peeking into the living room on christmas eve. A walk off home run.
Of course.
We watched Ortiz round the bases, we watched the pigpile on homeplate, we smiled at each other, then we laid back down.
What does it all mean? I don't know.
But one prayer has been answered - the chance to see Petey pitch again for the Sox, and this time in Fenway again. Beyond that, I think I'll take it one prayer at a time.