I was 29 and nearly as far from playing baseball as I am now from that moment. But even so, as I watched, I had a hard thought, a thought that for no earthly reason should have been difficult at all but for every unearthly reason was. I realized I would never play professional baseball.
Many years ago, when I was young, that age when your body and the law consider you an adult, but your heart is like spaghetti and your brain is the best and the worst of a sponge, I was in love, of course. Weren’t you? I felt lucky and afraid. I felt as large as a dump truck, and so unimportant, like a wisp of a cloud alone in a forgotten corner of the sky. Do you remember the feeling? Yes, we do remember when we do. I was nineteen.
I think there are magic bones magicians and non-magic bones magicians. Both can fool you and both are entertaining. One makes you say “how did you do that?” The other makes you say, “who the f#@k let you out of your bottle.”
So what I endeavor to do here, on the fifth anniversary of his death and in an embarrassingly poor affectation of his writing voice, is recommend him to you if you don’t know him already, and share in the collective grief the day requires if you do. I have no standing to write about him, I have only my sorrowful wish, this year more than any other since his death, that he was still alive.
Westinghouse Digital owed us something and, technically, Target owed us nothing. Westinghouse made it difficult to find a solution. Target found a solution in less than three minutes on the phone. The person on the phone representing Westinghouse had zero authority to make us happy. Larry at Target had all the authority he needed to make us happy.
Such was my love of Sandburg that my best friend in college bought me his complete works for my birthday, for which he paid a hefty sum for a poor college student. He inscribed the book with a demand that I pay him back with my first born child.
Even if you have not seen their depictions of Hamlet, all you need to do is imagine Mel Gibson and Kenneth Branagh and there you see before you the embodiment of the question. Did Hamlet’s madness move north or south from his broken heart?
And never mind the fact that drinking the same beer whenever you drink beer is the opposite of interesting. Yes, it’s a damn annoying detail but it is overshadowed by how well, in one brief feint with the marketing knife, they find our soft belly and sink it home.
The question I ask myself about myself and the straight white male kids I know is “when, oh when, will we ever shut up and just listen… then listen again, and again?” We make all the grand gestures of inviting everyone to the table and when everyone sits down the first thing we do is start talking and if any of the diverse people we have invited to our diversity table complain about us we say, “Do you know how much this table cost?”