There are certain pleasures you can only enjoy when you’re in the mood. There are certain pleasures that never lose their appeal, no matter how much disappointment has been involved in your pursuit of them. There are certain pleasures that are much richer and deeper when love is involved. There are certain pleasures for which your desire is supposed to increase in the middle of February. Such are the pleasures that come from following the fortunes of a baseball team.
Am I in the mood? I’m getting there. What I’m telling myself now is that the stage has been set for something wonderful. No one expects us to win, and so if we win, how great would that be? And it isn’t so far-fetched to think that we could do it. If everything … Oh, if everything …
Has baseball lost its appeal for me, after all this disappointment? No. This is the deepest wonder of baseball fandom. Disappointment doesn’t kill hope. It feeds it.
Do I feel love? Why should I? They tear down my home and build me a stadium that I still don’t like. They could screw up a two-car funeral. The team is harder for me to embrace than the Mets teams I have embraced in the past. Many of my fellow fans seem to have been driven insane. I am braced for despair and humiliation. Yes I feel love.
Do I desire baseball now that it is the middle of February? The season isn’t starting for six more weeks and already I am bored with the analysis, which is either stupid or just the same thing over and over again. Exhibition games make me want to tear my hair out. If you feel hope, you know it could just be an illusion. If you feel despair, you know it may not mean anything. Yet people will watch meaningless games and talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. Yes I desire baseball now that it is the middle of February.
Pity me. I am a simple, foolish being, programmed to feel the equinoctial frenzy. The days lengthen. I will soon smell the ground. I will fall in love. I will be in the crowd. I am a fucking idiot. But I cannot help myself.
I’ll be reading at the Rye Library at 7 pm on Tuesday, February 24.
And attention all Brooklynites! At 3:30 pm on Saturday, February 27, I will be making a joint appearance with Mr. Met at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, at One University Place, at the corner of De Kalb and Flatbush, at the Cyber Cafe just inside the campus gates. We’ll have a lot to talk about! The event is free and open to all members of the public. I hope to see you there!
And speaking of Brooklyn, members of the Gary, Keith, and Ron family will be receiving a cookbook in the mail that contains a lokschen kugel recipe I contributed in honor of my two Brooklyn grandmothers, each of whom could make a killer kugel. If you make the recipe, let me know how it turns out. The title of the cookbook is “Let’s Go Meals!” Oy.