Last fall, when Emily and I got a cat, a friend at work told me that she once had a cat that she loved very much. She said that once it died she never got another one. It was simply too painful for her to get a pet knowing that she would likely out-live it. I had animals around my house when I was growing up–cats and dogs–but I haven’t owned one as an adult. But in no time, I’ve grown attached to our charming little cat, Tashi. I had to board her at the vet’s late last week before I trooped up to Vermonth to meet-up with Emily at her folks’ place for the weekend. I asked to see the vet where Tashi would be staying and was shown to the basement where the boarding animals stay. Dude, I had to hold back the tears, and when I got home, I burst-out bawling like a baby.
Loss has been foremost on my mind recently. My dad had a heart attack one month ago and he died the following day. I miss him dearly.
I’ve been thinking about ol’ Bernie Williams this weekend, about how much I’m going to miss him–that is to say, if he’s really gone. It’s not so much his production, or lack thereof, that I’ll miss, but him. Of course, I don’t know him personally, but I’ve watched the majority of his big league games and have grown accustomed to his face, his swing, his mannerisms, his gestures. It isn’t the big things but the nuances, the details.
I love the continuity baseball offers. Each year, guys get too old and retire, while new guys come up and offer us something new to admire. If you’ve been a fan for a long time–as most of us have been–you see the professional life and death of many players. Sometimes, it is soothing to see a familiar face just because they are familiar, and nothing else. I thought of this last week when I read that Steve Trachsel was signed by the Orioles. I find his games almost intolerable to watch, he pitches so damn slowly. Otherwise I have no particular feelings about him. But I am used to him. Knowing that there is a chance that, months from now, in the middle of summer, he’ll be involved in one of those agonizing Yankee-Oriole, four-hour-plus slugfests, is strangely comforting.