Thursday, October 16, 2003
Why I love sports
Say something terrible happens to you. Something scary and impossible to explain, which turns every aspect of your life upside down. And you can't talk about it with anyone. The only outlet you've got is writing an online diary, but what you write is so absurd that anyone who reads it will assume it's a work of fiction.
But you get used to it. You come to look upon it as a learning experience of a sort, and even start to maybe think of a good friend in a new way, a way that would have been absurd (if not, well, gross) before. You occasionally, late at night, as he's asleep in the bed beside you, wonder if you want things to change back. And then even that bit of happiness is taken away from you. You're alone, with a frightening secret, and once again the world seems chaotic and unfamiliar.
It's no small solace that certain things in the world are unchanged and still exciting. No matter what happens, there are games beign played, as seemingly random and unpredictable as your own life but also, in their way, scrupulously fair. Even if what happened to you is crazy, they provide a sense of order while at the same time showing you that no-one else knows just what is going to happen next, either. As you ride the train home from work, everyone else is intently listening to their radios, all interested in the same thing you are. You're sharing something unspoken with all these people you've never met, with the best friend/boyfriend or girlfriend who dumped you but you still care for, with the mother you can't speak to. And when you talk to the new friends, the ones who think they know you but are missing a huge piece of who you really are, at least on this subject, you can connect completely.
Sports are great. And sometimes, like tonight, they deliver something so exciting, so operatic, that even a life as peculiar as mine can be put aside because it is not, for three hours at least, as interesting as what's going on on the diamond. Those chaotic events, those thousands of baseball games played over the past seven months, have somehow formed a story, a story that millions of people have followed, that's now drawing to a climax.
Tonight, as I sit on Jen's couch and munch on nachos and yell and scream and pray, I'm not Martin, I'm not Michelle, I don't have to worry about whether I'll ever get my own body back or anything related to that. I'll just be a Red Sox fan, just like millions of other Red Sox fans, not terribly dissimilar from millions of Yankee fans, or Marlins fans, or just people who recognize a great baseball game when they see one.
PS: One of those days when I don't mind working as a receptionist as opposed to what I went to school for. How can anybody be expected to concentrate?
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