017.0: The thought of what could happen.
How do major league baseball players go to Paris? The period immediately following the end of the regular season is not an ideal time to go over there. The next best time to visit Paris would be in March were it not for spring training.
I just had a horrible thought. What if in reality you are like Jeff Kent? He is a very unpleasant person. Not only does he have a nasty personality, he also donated to Proposition 8 — and it makes me squirm that he set foot in our motherland.
I want, I want, I want, I want to go back to Paris so badly. I know how strange this sudden transformation must seem. In the days immediately leading to my vacation, I was glum, if not outright hostile, toward the idea of even setting foot in Europe. It wasn’t something that I needed to happen in my life as badly as everyone else seemed to want it to happen in their own lives — in fact, even now, I can say that I might have still been happy if I had never gone.
But I did go. And now I can’t — to speak in today’s hypercontemporary parlance — un-go.
So let’s go back, Linc.
Let’s go wander along the banks of the Seine, periodically kissing and embracing, just like in a movie — and then the movie ends, because the cinematic moment comes to a dull conclusion when I spend the rest of that day inside Shakespeare and Company while you gamely read nearby or wander off to do your own thinking. (In fact, there are a number of comic book shops near Shakespeare and Company!)
Of course, when I said “let’s”, “you”, and “your”, I was referring to my actual husband, wherever and whomever he may be.
The parenthetical notation about comic book shops arose from just one more interpretation that I have of your personality as reported by the media. It has been reported that you like video games and fast movies, so my interpretation is that by extension you might also like comic books. On the other hand, it has also been reported that you like The Beatles, Frank Sinatra — and remember that special you did for CSN Bay Area, the one where you showed off your new condo in Seattle? It has been a while since I watched that special and I only saw it that one time. But I remember you pointed out some art hanging on your walls, or that you liked the idea of having important art hanging on your walls, or something.
Ever since then, joining the notions of you listening to music by the Beatles and Sinatra, I have had this notion of you being a very unassuming art lover. There are so many facets of your personality that have been leaked into the press that it’s hard to pin down who you really are. Maybe that’s how you like it. I’ve been thinking more about your personality ever since I recently read an article where the writer mentioned, off-handedly, that you have a weird personality and maybe that’s affecting your performance issues. To tell you the truth, I didn’t bother committing to memory who wrote the article — and, actually, now that I think more about it, I think it was a blog post (a professional one, though, on the website for a newspaper) and not an actual article.
What could be so weird about your personality? Are you really the chain pot smoker that everyone fantasizes about as heartily as I fantasize about your potential as a husband? As long as you’re nothing like Jeff Kent, I think I can be OK with however weird you are. But the question does remain: Who is Tim Lincecum?
If you ever want to answer that question, then I would love being granted the exclusive interview — or, alternatively, you should interview with Kruk and Kuip. (Hell, I was going to recommend Ann Curry here, because I like her and hate what NBC did to her, but it would be sacrilege to bypass Kruk and Kuip for a juicy scoop like this.)
Yesterday, I made the mistake of engaging someone who is against all the gay marriage stuff. To tell you the truth, I’ve steered clear of the opposition, even though I know that it is always useful, no matter the subject of the argument, to know what the other side thinks and why. But because I feel that gay marriage is as incontrovertible as breathing or the sun rising, I have never especially felt the need to “defend” it. The reason why I piped up yesterday is because Paolo, one of Mary’s brothers, dared to post a Facebook status message in defense of gay marriage — to which another of her brothers posted a rebuttal, which was replete with Bible verses.
There are a variety of reasons why I was moved to pipe up this time. Let me start with Paolo, who I have never named in these letters until now even though we have shared a long acquaintance. I’ve known Paolo for as long as I’ve known Mary, but we’ve never been close. In high school, Paolo was the popular older brother whose footsteps Mary had the misfortune of following. “Oh, you must be Paolo’s little sister,” came the usual exclamations for nearly all of Mary’s high school career.
Paolo was popular in all the important ways — intelligence, talent, charisma — except for sports, because he wasn’t much of a jock, but he was the kind of non-jock so popular that he had a lot of jock friends. He was pretty much the Big Man on Campus, and the first time he met me, he looked at me like I was one of the flying roaches so endemic to the Southern Maryland region. I didn’t improve his perception at all when once, during a field trip to see a play, he happened to be sitting in the row in front of me when, thinking that I was being funny and smart, I whispered loudly and obviously to Mary: “I’ve seen episodes of Star Trek: Voyager that are better than this.”
Paolo turned around, and when he stared at me, not only was I a flying roach, I was a dead flying roach whose squashed remains he struggled to scrape from his designer dress shoes.
We never became friends but over the years he did warm to me, especially since it seemed that “Mary’s friend” never seemed to go away, would end up being her friend for a long time. Mary’s entire family are devout Christians, but when it comes to social issues, Mary and Paolo, to me, seem to have deviated from the line that others in their family have taken. It wasn’t long after Paolo posted his supportive status update that their brother replied. The Bible verses, too, that he was using against gay marriage were what made me want to engage, Linc. I thought, Well, I’m a church elder now, I should know a thing or two about the Bible. So maybe I was trying to show off, a little bit.
All hell broke loose — ultimately, I decided to hit “unfollow post” so that Facebook would stop notifying me that there was a new reply to the status message that had now exploded into a fiery thread. And then Mary sent me a text: “I’m so sorry about that shit with my brother. Please ignore him. It’s not worth it.”
"Aw, don’t apologize," I said. "I’m the one who dared to reply."
I’m going to tell you something that in today’s hypercontemporary parlance would be an “unpopular opinion”, Linc: I don’t want to march in the pride parade on Sunday. In fact, I hardly ever attend pride festivities. I’m not into crowds to begin with — I only ever go to FanFest or baseball parades because, well, the magic of baseball is as near to God as being with God Himself. When it comes to baseball, I am drawn for reasons that are emotional, mystical, spiritual.
I wish I hadn’t been so quick to sign up to march with my church. I wish I hadn’t been so quick to rope in Spencer and Clara — who don’t typically wake up early on Sunday mornings but readily agreed to make this one exception because of how historic 2013 has been for gay rights. That’s the only reason why I committed to this, Linc — because a year like this does not happen very often. I’d like to tell my kids that on the year that gay marriage finally became a reality all across the United States, I marched in a parade to celebrate and commemorate. They might think it very dull and disappointing if I told them that all I did to celebrate was watch a ballgame, which is all I really want to do this Sunday.
I have many reasons for writing these never-to-be-sents: like, how I’ve been blogging for a long time, since when I was in high school before “blog” was even a word. Like, how hard it is to become a published writer, and to make up for whatever it is that my submitted manuscripts have lacked in publishable quality, I have always resorted to blogging. Like, in the beginning, I did want the real Tim Lincecum to someday get back to me.
But I also write because I’m a Catholic, and we like to live by example. I write for folks like Mary and Paolo’s brother, who condemn people like me as caricatures, who see only gay marriage and are blinded to our hopes and dreams, how long it takes us to get through a trip to the grocery store, what we think about Ann Curry being fired, how we feel when Pandora plays a favorite song or when World War Z gets adapted into an inferior movie that in no way resembles the fantastic source material, or the dorky way we might seek out a comic book shop even when we are in the middle of Paris. I write because I am more than just a buzz word: a “deviance”, a “special interest”, a faggot and a foe. I have never looked at other people as anything less than complex creatures and it is my hope that others will respect me by doing the same — although I do understand Paolo’s early impression of me. That was pretty classless of me to compare a perfectly decent play against my own dorky interests.