Where’s the Fun In This?

My beloved Red Sox have pummelled the New York Corpses Yankees for two straight nights (and are currently going for the sweep as we speak).  In a normal society, I’d be crowing from the rooftops.  I’d be anxious to come into work for the sole purpose of rubbing it into the faces of my Yankee-Loving co-workers (who totally outnumber the Sox fans in my office).  But not this time.

Despite the euphoria that was October 27, 2004, I still have some raw memories of 2003 where Aaron Effin Boone launched a walk-off homerun off my boy Tim Wakefield to successfully eliminate the Red Sox from the playoffs in the 2003 ALCS.  Coming into work the next day was beyond brutal.  Brutal I tell you!  The Yankee fans were everywhere and relentless.  Worst.day.ever.

Therefore it was always a pleasure to have reason to come into work to crow about victories, except for now.  I hate to agree with Dan Shaughnessy because I generally think of him as a pompous blowhard, but he nailed it here.  The Yankee fans have completely deflated and there is no fun in crowing anymore.

Here are some of the various responses I received upon entering the workplace this morning:

“The Yankees played the Red Sox?  Didn’t know that.”

“Is it football season yet?”

“I sold the rest of my season tickets except for my last game.  I guess I should go to one more game before they close the old stadium.”

“I’m rooting for the Dodgers.”

They have sucked all of the fun out of this rivalry!  The bully in the baseball playground is gone and there is no one to have a fight with anymore.  I want to shake someone and say “C’mon fight!!  Don’t quit yet!”.  Does this mean that I have to go find a Tampa Bay fan to pick a fight with?  Sheesh.

Wait!  I did find one spunky fan in the bunch.  He says that while the Yankees are probably out of playoff contention, they can still be spoilers for the Red Sox at the end of September, “We’re gonna knock you out of the playoffs!”.  That’s the spirit!

So I say this to Yankee fans: Don’t roll over and play dead!  Embrace your newfound status as potential playoff spoilers!  That can be fun too.  Obviously, I am desperate for some good ole fashioned trash talking.  Anyone?  Anyone?



The Divine Intervention of Sunflowers

I love sunflowers.  My first apartment’s living room was covered with them from the window valance to the throw blanket on my couch.  I even used Sunflowers purfume when it was in vogue. 

It was six years ago last week, a lone sunflower randomly grew in my backyard exactly the day after my good friend Mike died from complications from his leukemia.  I didn’t plant it and we had no idea where it came from.

Of course I had my suspicions.  It was Mike who had randomly sent me a virtual bouquet of sunflowers one day around 1996.  So was it just coincidence?  Who knows. 

Fast forwarding….I’ve never shared this with anyone but about a month after his funeral, I had a disturbingly vivid dream about him.

I dreamt that my friends and I went on a big camping trip via a big bus.  Upon getting home, my parents were there to pick me up.  When I got off the bus, I was very upset because Mike with me acting as if everything was ordinary.  I must have been the only one who could see him because no one else thought it odd that he was with us either.

I wispered to my parents that I was afraid that Mike did not know that he was dead.  Kind of like a Sixth Sense situation if you will.  I went on to say to my parents that he shouldn’t be here.  Why is he here?  I didn’t realize that Mike had heard me.

Suddenly I’m in a basement space.  It was probably the one at my parents’ house.  It was a finished basement where me and my high school friends spent many a fun night.  However, in this dream, it was just me, Mike and another friend of mine.  Mike had this peaceful, all-knowing smile on his face.  It was that shit-eating grin that my friends and I know so well.  I knew right then that he was aware of his sitauation and that he was going to leave.

I begged him not to leave.  I cried and begged.  He just smiled that grin of his and asked me if I liked my sunflower.  Yeah, THAT one.  He put his arms around me and gave me a big hug.  He was saying good-bye, the one that I never got.  I could feel him as if he was really there.  I held on tight but I woke up.  I was sitting up in my bed with my arms outstretched.

There is some school of thought amongst mediums that the dead visit loved ones in their dreams.  Take it for what you will, but I like to think that he really did visit me.  And I got my good-bye.

Yeah, it’s been six years but often it doesn’t seem like it.  We felt his absence at every subsequent wedding or reunion gathering that we had since.  We miss him.  I miss him. 

This past week it seemed like I ran into sunflowers everywhere, whether it was decor in a restuarant, bouquets of them being sold at farmer’s markets, or planted in someone’s garden.  I like to think that he is telling me that he is okay and is thinking of me.

Thank God for the sunflowers.