Have Heart

This won’t end like last time

Sports

The line between sports and real life can become murky on occasion, and especially so on blogs like this one. Because I have a way of sounding extremely serious on the Internet, much more than I am in real life — where everything is just an extension of an extension of an extension of some prior reference or inside joke.

Point is, sports — and my love for sports — have and always will be a distraction from real life. More than anything it’s entertainment, not entirely unlike people who are obsessed with music or movies or reality television. (Though reality TV is pretty ridiculous, to be fair.) Sports are my bag, my lane, the one thing I am better at consuming than 99% of the population.

I could argue for an against sports being “my life,” but I won’t argue for their overall importance in the grand scheme of things. For that is minor.

Yesterday Prince Fielder announced that his MLB career is over, due to a second neck surgery. I’ve pissed on Prince’s 2016 season. He actively hurt the Rangers being in the lineup everyday, as was proven by his .212/.292/.334 (63 wRC+) triple slash line. In 89 games and 370 plate appearances he was worth -1.8 fWAR, second-worst in the major leagues per FanGraphs.

Nonetheless, it’s damn near fucking impossible to watch his press conference, sitting there next to his two sons in a neck brace, choking up after seemingly every sentence, and not feel for the guy.

I love to write; I love watching the Rangers; I love my family and I love my best friend; I love a precious few things. And tomorrow when I wake up, I’ll have the chance to write, and watch the Rangers again, or talk to my family or my best friend.

The thing Prince Fielder loved was playing baseball. He won’t be able to do that anymore.

Whether it’s him or it’s me or you, the older we get the more comfortable we become going on without the things we love. And that sucks. The losses get easier to deal with, even if the love never leaves completely.

Then again, I was never given the tools to accept things as they are and move on. I’ll be a fighter till the day I die. And that’s cool. That’s me.

But on this blog, we aren’t going to mistake the passion I have for sports with the passion I have for real life, or for the real lives of the people I love. Those are more important. It just happens that Prince played a role on one of the teams I love, and his love was for that team and that sport.

Politics

Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the second amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick… if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people maybe there is, I don’t know.

You can be intelligent or you can be a Donald Trump supporter, but you cannot be both.

I’m sorry.

I am absolutely convinced there are two types of Trump supporters: Those who are genuinely upset with a system that’s leaving them behind, and those who are uninformed. I’m sure there’s plenty of overlap there, especially since he’s the candidate of the Republican Party, but that’s the way I view it.

One of the big zombie myths out there is that if a Democrat is president they are going to forcefully go door-to-door and literally take away your guns. This is total bullshit.

America has more guns than any country on earth, and by an outrageous percentage, both by the number itself and per capita. There are over 300 million guns in the United States, more than one for every person. The next highest rate, per capita, is in Serbia (about 75 per 100 residents), a country that holds a little over 7 million people.

And here, in the United States, the supposed world leader, you have one of the two presidential candidates openly baiting gun owners to assassinate Hillary Clinton. I could be wrong, because he’s said so many retarded things already, but this may be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, where you at?

Time for a 3rd candidate to join the fray.

Gambling

I was in the team dining room (TDR) at work over the weekend, and found myself next to my favorite cocktail server again.

She was next to the machine with all the fountain drinks, standing beside one of the little hispanic ladies who works in the kitchen. The employees I’m always the nicest to either wash dishes, work as maids or custodians, or cook the food. They are paid the least, work the hardest, and rarely speak much english.

“Hola,” I said in their general direction.

My cocktail server thought I was talking to her, which was obviously the idea here.

“Hola,” they both said back.

“Oh I wasn’t talking to you,” I told the cocktail server. She laughed. I smiled.

“Tu hablas español?” the cocktail server asked with a smile.

“Si,” I responded, because that’s about all I’ve got.

Then she said something else in Spanish, but I had no fucking clue what it was. I just enjoyed looking at her while she said it.

I looked at the little hispanic lady who was still next to us, kind of just enjoying the show. I leaned in to her and asked what the cocktail server just said.

She whispered in my ear, “She asked if you have a girlfriend.”

So I played it cool, not knowing what the hell else there was to do, smiled and took my coffee outside to have a quick cigarette before my shift. I chugged the black coffee over a smoke, got all hyped up and thought to myself: When could there possibly be a better time than right now to ask for her phone number?

I crushed my Newport, dumped my coffee cup and headed inside. On my way back in I opened my phone to the contact section and wrote her name in the little space where it says “First Name”. Because of course.

Then I reentered the TDR, saw her about to leave, so I quickened my pace and arrived a few steps behind her.

“At least let me get the door for you,” I said. She turned her head around and smiled. I swear there’s nothing this woman could do that wouldn’t be the sexiest expression in the world.

So I got ahead of her and opened the door, thought I was just going to leave it at that. Then in a hot second I thought, fuck it, and followed her out to the blank hallway next to all the lockers.

“I think you should give me your phone number,” I told her.

“Oh you think so?” she said, as she grabbed the phone out of my hand.

“You already have my name in here?” she laughed, as she punched in her number.

“I was betting on myself,” I told her. We do, after all, work in a casino. I am, after all, a dealer who once gambled quite heavily. It seemed like a good bet at the time.

“Your last name is longer than usual,” I said. She wrote the casino we work at and “Cocktail” at the end. I just like making her smile.

“It’s so you don’t get me confused with all the other [her first name’s] you have in your phone,” she retorted. She’s pretty quick on her feet.

“There is only one [her first name] in my phone as far as I’m concerned.”

The money I made in tips did not matter that day. It was a productive Sunday.

Minor Overlap

What’d you expect, really? I’m either the smartest stupid person in existence, or the dumbest smart person. One way or another, I can sleep at night because I’ve convinced myself I’m a good person. And that has made all the difference.

Solitude agrees with me, but I’m a free agent to make exceptions. Trey is the one person who, aside family, I’m usually always “free” for. As most others are concerned it’s a hassle, something I have to be in the mood for. It should come as no real surprise that most of the women in my life are of the transient variety. I would rather do literally nothing than spend time with people who I’ve no future with beyond a whim.

But as SABER says in the documentary Infamy, “A lot does grow in the dark.”

I think people who knew me in the past, or at least my general behavior in the past, would have expected me to be a snake in the future. Someone who manipulates others for political or social gain.

I was once on a direct line to be that guy, because it worked somewhat effectively for a while. I think you can track my happiest, most fulfilling moments from a time when I was the worst possible person I could be. That’s neither ironic nor coincidental; just random. That’s how it happened.

Then in the years following, I thought I was doing civilization a favor by keeping myself out of the picture. Like there was only one option if I was active and involved: To be that slimy asshole.

But now I don’t feel that way. I think it’s just the way I am. No matter how much I wish I was like my mom, or how much I wish I was different from my dad, I’ll always be their product. Somewhere in the middle. I take the best of one and the worst of the other, and vice versa.

But in these quiet years, the ones where all I basically do are work, sleep, and shit, I know who I am. And I’m no longer trying to keep myself away from anyone or anything. I’m just living according to a half-stringent, half-loose set of my own moral principles.

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