Cubs 3, Astros 0
W:Wood (3-3) L:Rodriguez (6-6)
Sometimes if you revel in a dream, a fantasy…sometimes it becomes reality.
In the spring before my last year in college, I got engaged. In retrospect it was stupid, but at the time everything in my life was accelerated. I couldn’t wait to graduate, get a real job, get married, start the rest of my life. Everything I did was on a compressed timetable, all of it was moving at the fastest possible pace because I needed to get out and get on with it RIGHT NOW.
I was so proud, young and in love
Head in the clouds, a gift from above
I held your hand all through the storms
Nowhere to rest, nowhere to run
You’ve got to hold me, hold me, hold me
Baby, try to understand
You’ve got to cool me, cool me, soothe me like nobody can
Like nobody can
Teardrops must fall
Teardrops must fall
Teardrops must fall
The Astros are struggling in a month-long Tar Pit. As hopeful and defiant as they have been in stretches this season, they are now at the mercy of their own weaknesses and the long season is in danger of becoming their enemy. The bats have been silent for a month now. Young teams spend their growth learning how to not lose a different way each night. This team is making strides in that category, because they seem to be settling in to losing by virtue of having no offense at all.
They’ve forgotten how to take pitches. The walks they got earlier are gone, replaced by swings outside the strike zone and their conjoined twin, taking pitches for strikes. This isn’t a run of bad luck, it’s a run of bad hitting and poor discipline.
The piece-of-shit Cubs, in free fall and in last place, took the broom to Houston today and spanked them like it was Fantasia. Bewitched by their own impotence, this team is a threat to be no-hit every night.
My fiancee went back to Houston for the summer, and the plan was to get married when she came back. Inseparable as you’d expect two teenagers who were perfectly matched to be, we’d decided that spending those couple of months mostly apart was a good thing, a difficult but ultimately strengthening move. I took the separation as a benediction for two months of debauchery and in the middle of all of that was Sheila.
Sheila was a nice girl, and she didn’t do what bad girls did. We’d caught each other’s eye working at a restaurant and with Dawn out of town we were free to get to know each other a little better.
I told her at the beginning that I was engaged, and that nothing was going to change that. Whatever happened between us was something we did, knowing that it had an end in a little less than two months and that end was a wall, final and immutable. She agreed and in a couple of weeks we’d gone from hanging out with each other to seriously making out every night. Still, this pretty Irish girl had boundaries too and her resistance to my persistence was admirable, if not entirely honorable. After all, I was engaged.
By week three she was spending the night half the week and I was showing her everything I’d learned in my too-fast apprenticeship to my life. Devouring the entire canon of John Holmes, I knew pacing, some interesting positional varieties, and the best Dirk Diggler-esque lines designed to heighten the mental aspects. On the off nights I’d go to the clubs in search of prey, pressing hard against all the boundaries I had left before August rolled in.
The whirlwind of the summer spun faster and faster, the tighter circle becoming a hidden metaphor for my life. Acceleration wasn’t enough, it had to build exponentially while I juggled as many different items in the thin wild mercury as could possibly be suspended in the blink of an eye. Drugs, work, women, music were the raging streams, their currents powerful yet flowing into each other all hours of the days and nights, becoming one elemental force. There was no longer a separation, but now a single roaring blast from the alchemy of that summer and the compression of years into weeks.
Sheila was spending most of her time at my place by mid-July. Not quite moved in, she’d go to her place every day but more often than not we’d end up back at my place for the night. I enjoyed this, she was that rare girl who not only was easy to get along with, she was also very pretty, and completely comfortable with this temporary arrangement that we were mining so deeply. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my last free summer.
We walk the street, and I hold your hand
As we stroll along, I can’t understand
How a love can live in this desolate land
Broken windows, and broken hearts
You are cheated before you start
Was there ever a chance?
No, there was never a chance
Wandy pitched pretty well, as have the starters for much of this run of no runs, this spell of no hits. If the only way they can tie is by pitching a shutout, well, that’s a taller order than most staffs can fill, let alone this cast of the Weird and the Damned. Wandy only gave up five hits in seven innings to this brutally awful Cub team but when you have no margin for error you have no chance to win and that’s what happened out there today.
One night towards the end of July, we were on the couch fooling around as usual. I had her shirt off, fingernails lightly caressing the backs of her arms while our tongues danced in between bites of full lips. I remember her smell, fresh and clean with a growing hint of spice. Her pale, freckled skin was a direct contrast to my fiancee’s tan, and her softness was unusual to me, a special gift. She broke the kiss and said something about a day in August, some place she wanted me to go with her to. I smiled and told her that I was going to get married in August, and we both knew that.
We kissed again, but she was different. I knew it was going to come to this, despite the fair warning. She stiffened, and I could tell that she was caught in that dim fog between what she knew and what she wanted. Her relaxation was evaporating and then I felt the tears on my lips.
The perfume burned his eyes
holding tightly to her thighs
And something flickered for a minute
and then it vanished and was gone
Carlos Lee took his time deciding whether he should go to Los Angeles until the Dodgers pulled the offer and made up his mind for him. Word is that while on the plane to Pittsburgh he was coming closer to deciding, thinking maybe that he should accept it. This is the typical reaction time we’d come to see in left field, but he seemed to be so much sharper when he was playing first base. Fan reaction among TZ dwellers is mixed but no one appears to be happy that the punchless big man is going to hang around a little longer. Maybe he’ll end up in LA, maybe he’ll get dealt somewhere that his no-trade doesn’t disallow, or maybe he’ll be showered with boos when he plays out this last season as an Astro. I’ll remember him fondly as a terrific professional hitter, one who never had the real adulation of the fans but who delivered regularly for years. The selfish side of me wishes he’d taken the trade so that the Astros could start working on the Brett Wallace Experience. Time will tell. Time heals all.
Remember that neither Romeo nor Juliet survived the play.