Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Song is Over

As recently as three years ago, I would have been saddened by the thought that I was not going to play softball with my core group of friends with whom I have played in one league or another since graduating law school in 1994. Presently, I am surprised but not disappointed to find out that parting is not even such sweet sorrow. It simply is what it is.

Do not misunderstand. As a person of few friends (out of choice.......mostly theirs) I will miss tremendously the regular, seasonal renewal of acquaintances with the crew with whom I have played for most of the past decade and a half, including the Brothers Rubino (Dave and John), the Brothers Navas (Diego and Christian) and my fellow Springsteen fan LD 17. But when the snow started to melt this winter and we started to inch closer and closer to Opening Day I realized that I left my desire to continue to play in a different bag apparently.

After having had our first several (three I think) games rained out, we finally trotted into action last night. I realized that last night's season opener shall serve as my swan song. We are not slated to play again until the 10th of June, which gives me adequate time to tell my mates that I am calling it a day and them adequate time to find my replacement. As if! The search for someone to play my position shall last for about as long as it took President Present Tense to wake up the echoes of President Immediate Past with his less-than-slick handling of an ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Memo to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: after telling BP for more than a month that we "really, really, really" expect them to do a better job of trying to clean up the mess that they made before they kill every Goddamn living thing between the Port of New Orleans and the Atlantic Ocean, how 'bout we start swinging that big stick we carry around at them?

But I digress. Last evening we played our first game of the season, which we won. I realized though in the middle of the game - having taken myself out of the lineup because my right knee decided that it had had just enough fun - thank you very much - crouching behind home plate - that I was essentially disconnected from what was going on out on the field. It was the half-inning in which we allowed a blowout to become a close game. As happens sometimes in slow-pitch softball - where the average player's attitude exceeds his or her aptitude - we had an inning defensively in which we threw the ball all over the place without any apparent purpose. Our opponents scored a lot of runs. How many? Beats the hell out of me. I did not bother to count them.

And it was at the end of that half-inning, realizing that I had no idea what the score was in the game in which I was a participant, when I realized that my softball career was over. I have never been better than a mediocre player, which given the dizzying heights of mediocrity I have strived to attain in all aspects of my life (both personal and professional) comes as no surprise to anyone at all. Irrespective of my limited skill set, I do everything that I do at full speed. I do not commit anything less than 100% of my energy and attention to the things that I do - even those that I do badly. Last night I breached my own internal code of conduct. It was a silent breach - unnoticed no doubt by everyone other than the one who committed it....

Like a breath rippling by.

-AK

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