You’ll never forget this season. You never forget any season. But this season will stay with you. The anguish, the disappointment, and the humiliation are inside of you now and it will be a very long time before they are digested, or excreted. Contrary to what Mets management may tell you, in jest, a season like this does not build character. What it builds isn’t noble or special. But it is what you are.
The season began as beloved Shea was ground to dust and rubble. In its place, they built something that could not see us, and had no arms to embrace us. We felt the disappointment of a child whose parents have replaced a dear pet with a fancy toy, and have convinced themselves that the kid is happier now than ever before.
The Mets were impotent in the new stadium. It looked smaller, but miraculously, the walls were further away. Muscles separated from bones, tendons snapped, scars grew. The Mets were replaced by scrubs who were then replaced by others. At the end of the season, there were strangers on the strange field, and there was no one in the stands.
And then, long after you stopped caring, the Phillies won the National League pennant. And the Yankees, plodding, bland, and inevitable, won the World Series in six games. All of the worst things that could happen had happened. With all the imagination, poetry, and class of Donald Trump, the Yankee colossus claimed the prize it knew it deserved, and New York was promised the biggest ticker-tape parade in history.
This is why you’re a Mets fan. You are not celebrating. They say New York is celebrating, but you know it isn’t. You are a New Yorker because you are not what they say you are and you don’t do what they say you’re doing.
It’s not as if you choose misery. And it is not as if you have chosen anything that is particularly worthy. We are no better. But we are different. We’ve chosen a fate that looks like fate, and not an outrageous distortion of it. And some November, late and cold, we will know a happiness they will never know.