I ate breakfast with some of the seniors a few mornings ago. It was raining outside the cafeteria, and it was the third or fourth straight day of pretty consistent rain and gray skies. “I hope it doesn’t turn into one of those ’40 days of rain’ things like a few years ago,” I said. “I remember that,” one of the seniors said. He squinted his eyes. “I was in 4th grade.” “That can’t be right,” I said. I did some quick math, as quick as math can be with me. “That’s like eight years ago,” I said. “Yeah,” he said. “I remember because we didn’t have PE for a month. I had to check. He was right. It was the spring of 2006. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I knew it had been a while, but eight years?
The rain has all kinds of implications for me personally. For reasons I can’t fully explain, weather like this – two or more days of heavy cloud cover and rain – makes me behave differently. It doesn’t make me sad, but it makes me want to listen to sad songs. I spent this morning sweeping up my classroom and making entries in my grade book while listening to such melancholy gems as Coldplay’s “Sparks” and Madonna’s “Live to Tell.” I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been this way. Whenever the skies are so gray that there’s no discernible difference between 8 AM and 12 PM, I want to hear Prince B tell me that if I’m gone, inside, he’d die without me. The rain partially inspired the poem I wrote yesterday. It had a little indirect help from Hamlet, but the first half is obviously shitty weather-centric.
The most frustrating consequence of the rain, though, is the fact that it severely limits what our baseball team is able to do during practice. We are lucky to have secured a field at CORP to practice at on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but that will only last through the pre-season. As anyone familiar with Damien baseball knows, practicing at CORP is roughly 2,714 steps above practicing at the school. The rain is ruining, though. Of the five days we’ve been scheduled to practice there, the weather gods have actually only allowed two. We arrived at the field this afternoon to discover that all the fields were locked because they were still soaked. A call or text or email would have been nice. Sunshine would be better. We’re missing out on invaluable reps.
I am not a fortune teller, so I don’t know what tomorrow or next week or next year will bring, but this short season feels different than the last go around I had with Damien baseball a few years ago.
It’s possible that it’s early and we’ve got a long way to go and all, but there’s a kind of disconnect. I am not sure how to explain it because it’s not between myself and the other coaches or players. It’s not my barbecue (I’m just bringing the mac salad), and I came back specifically for the seniors. I don’t want to call it a lack of passion because I am still passionate enough to become enraged when the infielders start kicking the ball around during box drills.
The only thing I can think of is that I don’t love baseball, or perhaps more specifically, I no longer love baseball as much as I used to. It is an extremely sad and terrifying thing to think, and even worse to see on the screen. But I feel like that must be it because there was a time I would have chosen this instead of needing to be talked/guilt-tripped into it. The family, the school work, those are factors that have pulled me away from baseball over time, but they shouldn’t (and don’t) directly impact my feelings about baseball one way or another. Lynnette and Madison aren’t anti-baseball advocates. It’s not like grading Macbeth tests makes me hate baseball; they make me hate life in general. So I don’t know what it is. I do know that the whole idea of falling out of love with baseball is a troubling thing to consider while Toad the Wet Sprocket’s “Little Heaven” runs in the background.