In the years since my temperamental adolescence, I’ve developed the unique ability to not get emotional over anything. Well, almost anything. For some reason, the majority of my adult life has been spent nurturing deep-seated and irrational emotional devotion to baseball. Does this mean I’m broken? Or does it mean that I’m functioning really, really properly?
Tonight, the (Devil) Rays lost their playoff series to the Texas Rangers. I can sit here and blame the absurdly terrible umpiring, the fact that our hitting coach is incapable, or the fact that we started Kelly Shoppach at catcher for this, the most important game of the year. And I did all of these things until five minutes ago. Five minutes ago, I shaved my playoff beard.
It wasn’t as gnarly as the 2008 incarnation, but it was there. I woke up with it, thought about how much it itched all day, and I went to sleep with it only to repeat the cycle again and again. When I scratched it, I thought about how much I love my team – twelve times every minute. I can’t be sure, but when we’d make an error or strike out looking or get hosed on an iffy call, I think I felt my follicles trying extra hard to push the strands out. I was so attached.
I shaved, and now I feel nothing but sadness.
The same thing happened in 2008: Eric Hinske struck out; Brad Lidge dropped to his knees; and I, feeling a whirlwind of emotions that ran the gamut from despair to pride to disbelief, walked to the bathroom and eliminated the facial project I had worked on for nearly a month. But after the whirlwind had died down, there was only one feeling left to feel. It’s the same one I feel now.
I realize that this is neither encouraged nor healthy, but I think that’s what’s so special about baseball. Five years ago, I was just a kid in high school who fooled himself into rooting for a ragtag bunch of losers. Today, I’m a kid in graduate school who fooled himself into rooting for a scrappy bunch of (almost) winners. And next year, I will fool myself into rooting for the boys – my boys – because that’s what needs to be done.
Maybe it’s not only sadness I feel. Maybe the time I spent shaving alone in the silence of my own locker room let me gain a bit of perspective. No, it’s not only sadness: it’s got a twist of hope with a dash of excitement and a whole lot of pride. Yeah, that’s it.
Go Rays.comments (2)
Well, I have been in Gainesville four days with my good friend Angus (who, to my great pleasure, has taken up blogging). We have been pretty bored this week, so we needed something entertaining to keep from going insane.
What did we come up with? A facial hair growing contest, of course! I am offering Angus $20 if he makes it until October 12 without shaving. A modest amount, yes. But the wonders that await Angus’ face will repay me tenfold.
Below is a photo taken with my (terrible) camera phone and a professional artists’ rendering of what we anticipate in a couple of months.comments (2)
Lately, my parents have been advocating giving the dog a haircut for the summer. I was originally very opposed to this, but gradually decided that it might be comfortable for Ben. I have since changed my mind again.
Before, Man’s Best Friend looked like this (nestled snugly in his chair with the cat):
Two trips to the vet and $80 later, however, my dog looks like a giant naked mole rat with an unusually hairy head:
I’m looking for a female volunteer to shave (or wax) my lower back. I was going to have my good friends Sharf and Trizis do it, but my idealistically masculine family poo-pooed that idea. My pop stipulated that it wouldn’t be gay if I got a girl to do it.
That being said, any takers?comment (1)
I broke down last night and got a hair cut. All of them.
Back in the day, when my parents would tell the barber (or, to be politically correct, hairstylist) how to cut my hair, they’d demand a #2 buzz on the side and hair relatively short on the top.
But since this past school year, longer hair has sort of been my thing. So, I told the young lady cutting my hair exactly what I wanted.
“I have grown on the thought of long hair as it has grown on me, so I propose a hair cutting as long as can be without curling. You see, my hair curls at one constant length on each strand. This creates sort of a wave effect, you see. I would like you to find this point, we’ll call it the apex of curlation, and cut roughly 1.5 centimeters below it.”
The young lady looked at me. I looked at her. She had no clue what I was saying.
“Oh, and a #4 on the sides.”
That did it. She didn’t want to play my childish, though thoroughly entertaining games. She started clipping away in an effort to speedily move me out of the local Supercuts.
That’s when it all began.
It started as mere molecules of water nestled within its safe spray bottle. But then the problem built itself up.
She sprayed to the upper left of my head, attempting to wet my hair. And that she did, although a rogue droplet distanced itself from the others that were meant to dampen my follicles. Harmless at first, it crept down my cheek inch by agonizing inch, coming to rest in the middle of my left cheek. And there it stood like an indignant child refusing mother gravity’s demanding grasp. It was there to stay.
Normally, an immobile water droplet wouldn’t be so bad. But in this situation, nothing could save me. Having already irked the hairstylist, I dared not move my arms to my face. She may have cut them off. Then what?
Minute by minute passed, each second becoming longer with the anxiousness built up within. Just then I realized. The young lady was Asian!
“Chinese water torture,” I said to myself. “What a gruesome practice for Supercuts!”
After I surmised this, my hairstylist caught on to the fact that I knew. She had to get me out as soon as possible, before a ruckus came about. She told me I was done, and I paid and left. She must have thought she got off scot-free. Wrong she was, ladies and gentlemen.
Right here, right now, I am proclaiming to the masses on the World Wide Web – Supercuts endorses torture within their properties in these United States!
Let it be known.comments (2)