Thursday, September 17, 2009
Another Cubs loss, another step toward reality. The elimination numbers (WC and NL Central) are still in double digits, so mathematical hope lives on. But you can feel 2009 slipping away, a fragment of what it once was.
Maybe it's time for you to slip away into the "reflection" stage of grief. It's okay to feel alone, to walk that finely stitched seam between loneliness and solitude. It might be sweet joy to linger after a win with 40,000 friends singing or just tolerating "Go, Cubs, Go," as you all bask in the glee of your collective fortune. But after a loss that only serves to confirm the imminent dread crashing all around you . . . that's not the kind of misery you want company for.
I always think it helps to step outside. Enclosures are just containers for the pain. Step into the open air and let out the 2009 version of your hurt. Breathe in the air too new to know suffering or too ancient to care. It doesn't matter. You're unbound by walls or losses or underperforming millionaires. You are free.
I also find it helpful to hold a baseball in your hands. Resist the urge to throw it through a window. Just let its tactile spherical elegance take you back to the moment when you and baseball first fell in love. Don't worry about what went wrong. Just remember the joy of the best baseball moments and the people you shared them with. Remind yourself that baseball, particularly Cubs baseball, isn't about winning.
Oh that it was, but who are we kidding?