339.2: Read Joe’s blog.
Sometime during the fourth inning tonight, just before the Rockies scored their second run, the television camera cut to a shot of you loosening up on the mound. In that moment, I swear that I didn’t see a baseball player, least of all a multimillion dollar pro under pressure. Instead, there was a fleeting escape of what I suspect to be the real you: something like a smirk crossed your face (though it was likely the grimace of an especially tight body stretch), and the look on your face was one that read of a very reachable, very ordinary human being just trying to get through another day at work. I am convinced that my interpretation of this moment cannot be mere projection — you must certainly.have been thinking, “Aw, damnit. How much longer until I can go back home to read Joe’s blog?”
If by “read Joe’s blog,” I mean “play video games.”
Or, as Wolfie likes to say, “fuck some blonde on a sack of potatoes.”
You should be aware, however, that I have already invited my coworkers to our wedding.
I pointed to you and said to them, “That man is gonna be my husband. Can you come to the wedding?”
There were many affirmatives. One guy said, “Let’s make this happen. I’ll put in a good word for you.” Also, tonight the beers and cocktails were flowing quite freely. Nothing we were saying to each other was remotely meant to be taken seriously.
I know about the fourth inning, and was able to point to you, because the game was showing at the SOMA StrEAT Food Park. It’s this collection of food trucks all gathered together under strings of Christmas lights in an old parking lot beneath the Highway 101 overpass downtown. The setting is an idyllic realization of urban life. Families, hipsters and young adults — like me, I suppose — are all gatheted together under tent-enclosed seating areas. The game is showing on two screens, but music is also playing on several speakers. A movie could be set here, perhaps one about us. Perhaps not.
I hung out with my coworkers for about an hour and a half. This is my second time going out with them, and it is just as grand as the first time. They are fine people. Yet now I have reverted to an old, familiar state: solitude. In actuality, I said my goodbyes. I was on my way out of the food park when I got distracted by a cookie truck. My coworkers are just footsteps away, still being merry. It is said that business deals are made more often in a social setting than anywhere else. I’m a social person, but I also, and always, feel the pull of who I started as, and who I may always be: quiet, separate, at once here but also there. It’s not nice to always have your mind somewhere else; you lose your focus on tasks, work, the present.
The entire time that I was out tonight, my mind was on leaving the table, on the game, on you. The second run by the Rockies sucked. Now, I am sitting nowhere near the TV screens — in fact, I am sitting in an isolated and empty patio that may not be entirely safe, given the surrounding neighborhood — but I’m hoping the game gets better.
Boyfriends have many useful properties, one of which is to conveniently call you away when you want to leave. Had I arrived with one, we could have made an excuse to leave sooner than this; had he stayed home, he could have texted me and jokingly asked if it was time for me to escape yet. One of my coworkers, who is older, and had attended by himself, made an escape.
“It’s getting late for me,” he had said sometime around eight. “And I’m married.”
I would have liked very much to meet his husband. But it’s just as well, for when I embraced my coworker goodbye, only the thinnest layer of superficiality concealed the incompleteness of this life without the other half of me.