As I have written previously, in order to avoid shrine jokes and general accusations of fanboy creepiness I have always endeavored to display my baseball memorabilia tactfully or otherwise just askew from plain sight. In fact, following the bedbug scandal, I have become a bit of a minimalist. If I am in the mood to flatter myself, I can say that my newfound style reflects the same decor of your Seattle condo as depicted on that CSN documentary that aired a while back. But I am a bookseller and an aspiring if unpublished author who rents a friend’s living room; at best, one can say the style is all my own, and at worst, that I can’t afford style.
Which is not to say that I got rid of my Giants memorabilia — no, wait. That’s a lie. Brace yourself: I threw out the newsclippings I collected of the 2010 World Series, and remembering that I had thrown them out, I didn’t bother collecting any newclippings from this past series.
I know: blaspheme! Sacrilege!
I can describe to you my thought process when I was confronted with the newsclippings during the height of the scandal, when we had engaged in our sudden burst of autumnal spring cleaning. I thought to myself: well, I have never gotten around to buying a scrapbook for these things, and who knows if I ever will? I sure as hell will never have the money to properly frame them. Also, the newsclippings (as well as magazines, catalogs, and other media related to the 2010 series) were all in bad shape from being stuffed away. I have never been a collector, Linc; rather, I’m more like a packrat, and one that knows when it is time to part with the extra junk, the over weight.
I will now have to look back to memories to recall the 2010 World Series. Oh certainly, I have pictures saved on my computer, but so much else has been tossed out; if it were possible to mortgage the past, then I have placed my bets on the reliability of recollection. Of course, I kept all the bobbleheads. One of those bobbleheads is of you from the 2011 season. It’s on my computer desk. I never did that before. Previously, I grouped all the bobbleheads together on the topmost shelf of a bookcase, so as to display them proudly — and also, out of sight. But after the bedbug scandal had cleared and we were regrouping, it was Clara who unpacked your 2011 bobblehead and perched it at the corner of my computer desk.
“Oh, you can just put there over there,” I said absently, while I was unpacking other things. I pointed to the bookshelf where we had restored the other bobbleheads.
“Why?” she said.
She was already positioning your bobblehead on my desk. “It’s Lincecum. Don’t you want him here while you write?”
I remember laughing at her, very casually saying “okay,” perhaps even feeling my cheeks go hot but not quite blushing, and then concerning myself with whatever was in the box I was sifting through. Ever since then, however, sitting down to my computer has been a new experience. I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.
All right, for starters, the bobblehead is still in the box; I never unpacked it, so what is actually displayed is the original packaging just as I had received it. (I didn’t get it from a ballgame, actually. Remember Donna? From my old job?) Instead of a toy figure of your likeness, each time I sit at the computer I get to see an actual photo of you on the side of the box. You are on the mound and you have just launched a pitch. Your right leg hangs in the air and though your visage is heavily concealed by the brim of your cap, we know that your gaze is possessed with the computerized accuracy of those military drones that are lately making the news — and you look so, so beautiful. Don’t let your masculinity be challenged by my use of that word, Linc. When they are in the throes of their athletics — football, running, basketball, and every once in a while soccer — all athletes are beautiful.
Have you ever heard of the Missed Connections category on Craigslist? It gets mocked a lot. I think there may even be a documentary about it on Netflix — which has lately become a den of iniquity in terms of content. In the aftermath of so many studios and networks either limiting or outright pulling their content, Netflix now has this bloated inventory of middling documentaries but that I watch anyway out of fascination over how anyone with a camera, some choice angles, the occasional shot in black and white, and a narration track believes they are a filmmaker. But that’s another story for another day.
I did use Missed Connections but that was many years ago, right when it was on the cusp of mockery. I thought about it earlier this week. Winter was in full effect. I had just escaped a downpour and managed to grab myself a seat on the train to work. A few stops later, this guy boarded. In contrast to the ideals in these never-to-be-sents, particularly my idealistic notions of you, as well as my stubborn attachment to romantic comedies, this guy was rather plain. He had full cheeks and bit of a beefy frame, a simple buzz cut, and looked like he wouldn’t really stand out from, say, Comic Con — also, when he sat down, he took out a copy of Game of Thrones to read. Although I like the TV show, I am not into the books. (I do not like the writing style.)
I couldn’t help sneaking glances. I suppose it could be said that he fits a certain type that I like in guys. But although I did not like the book that he was reading, I liked that he was reading — and reading a rather hearty paperback, to boot. This to me seemed smart and aware and he looked decent and I was very compelled to ask him out. I shut my eyes and gave myself a pep talk: Okay, Joseph. At the next stop, we will get up and introduce ourselves.
‘Hi. I was wondering if I could call you sometime?’
‘Hi. Want to grab a cup of coffee sometime?’
No. Too creepy. Say ‘hi’ first. And then… compliment the book?
No, that’s a lie. I don’t like those books.
He has a nice smile. I wonder what he’s smiling about.
Look away! Look away!
Oh God, did he me looking at him?!
Whew. OK. Next stop. We will do this at the next stop.
Suddenly, at the next stop, a flood of passengers boarded the train. The guy in question was still in my line of sight but now I would have to cut through a forest of drenched passengers. And for what? To risk rejection? I couldn’t do it. Possibly this was what Ray used to describe as “paralysis by analysis,” but whatever was going on, what resulted was a whole lot of nothing. I’ll probably never see him again.
With disappointment, I have decided that it may be too early in my career as a full-time bookseller to ask around for shift switches.
I was reading about the Sinatra Tribute Night this coming Monday the 13th, and deeply wishing that I could go. I had thought about going when I first heard about it last month, but this morning I saw the “K-Pack” photo that the team posted on Facebook and that just made me want to go even more. Also, as I’ve mentioned in previous never-to-be-sents, the 13th of every month means something to me: every so often, after enough time has passed since my birthday on the 13th of April, I like to look back and see how far I’ve come since then. (It’s a weird thing I do because I’m super-introspective, and everyone hates the number 13.) A lot of stuff has certainly happened since my birthday.
The first time I heard about Sinatra Night, I should have asked for that night off. It’s all right. Now I’m contemplating whether or not I should go to a ballgame this Saturday or wait until next Wednesday. Those are my only two choices right now. The problem with going on Saturday is that the game will be at 1pm, which is right when I get off my opening shift, so I would be late to the game. Going on Wednesday will be better because that is my day off — plus, you guys are playing the Nationals. I get to see my (original) hometown’s team play my (new) hometown’s team and, also, as Wolfie pointed out, I could also see Suzuki in his new uniform. Anyway, I’m just being a brat: Wednesday, I keep whining to myself, is too far away. But it is the most sensible option (plus it’s payday).
With this never-to-be-sent, I’m taking my blog in a new direction. Today, it is time to:
cast aside the notion that I am privately writing these never-to-be-sents and they just “happen” to be posted to a blog
publicly acknowledge the (mostly) unspoken notion that, in fact, I really do wish you would write back
reveal to the world that when I hear a crying child, it breaks my heart.
The third bullet point has nothing to do with blog revamping; a nearby window is open, and in the distance there’s some kid crying and a parental-type figure trying to calm it (could be a her) down, and I’m sad about it, and I suspect the dangerous fact that I may end up becoming a pushover parent.
These new never-to-be-sents will not merely be letters to you, Linc, but a countdown to the next Comic Con. As of today, there are 341 days left until July 16. Comic Con is July 18 (and technically Preview Night is on the 17th), but I’m setting a countdown for 07/16/2013 because we like to get into town early.
I’m overlooking WonderCon because as of right now, the powers that be haven’t decided if it’s coming back to San Francisco — plus I still have a bitter taste in my mouth over how they fled to Anaheim last year.
Anyway, Comic Con is more exciting. Not gonna lie. I used to love WonderCon because it’s our own hometown convention — even though WonderCon came first, I’m shallow enough and easily moved by the electricity of crowds that I have come to think of it as “Comic Con in San Francisco” — but see above re: Anaheim.
Did you get a haircut? From looking at the “K-Pack” photo, you didn’t. But I was at a Molly Stone’s grocery store last night and in the produce department I saw this guy who… well, it’s not that he looked like you, but he did have similar facial features. He was about what I would imagine is your height. With the exception of the shorter hair, he looked like the Fitzmaurice photo of you on the cover of that Ryan book. Indeed, my first thought was to legitimately suspect it was you, with a haircut, because that particular Molly Stone’s is in a rather upscale neighborhood and it would be unsurprising to see the likes of you shopping there. Anyway, you’re out of town.
Ruined my whole shopping trip, though. Heh. While I walked around choosing vegetables, and a good yogurt (I was in the mood for something with granola), and then the astonishing array of bagels that are available these days, I kept thinking, What if that’s him? What if that really is Tim Lincecum just casually grocery shopping and everyone is kindly holding off on asking him for his autograph because they want to let him be an ordinary grocery shopper? And then when I finally settled on a package of whole wheat bagels: What would it be like to reach up and put my arms around those shoulders all the time?
I should be thinking these things about my future husband. But I don’t know where he is, or if he even exists, so for the time being — since 2009 (wow) — this “Linc” creature is keeping his station warm.
I am looking forward to the never-to-be-sent that will be marked 1.0. I want to review the time that has passed between this one and the day when it will be time to be at yet another Comic Con. I want to see what sorts of things happened between then and now. Since my birthday, I have changed jobs and apartments. Those are pretty big deals. I wonder what life will throw at me in the next 341 days to top them. I hope it’s something good.
Work was okay, even good. It helps that my coworkers have good senses of humor. They’re always making me crack up somehow. And when a certain task seems overwhelming, there’s always someone who offers to help — or, at the very least, tells me to take it easy and shows me how to do it better.
I already want another vacation. I guess I was naive. I thought that a week away in San Diego for Comic Con would result in my having “gotten it out of my system” — in other words, I wouldn’t thirst for vacation for at least another few months. But the human mind, or at least my own, doesn’t work that way. It’s not that I want to go back to Comic Con so soon, or even to get away to someplace exotic. This morning it occurred to me that what I really want to do is just sit around the house for a week catching up on all the books that I keep meaning to read, and I also want to have a movie marathon of Kevin Smith movies and documentaries about space. Sometimes, I tire of the real world and its stupid rules.
Dreamers and unpublished writers, particularly those with unrequited affection for a distant pro baseball celebrity, aren’t the only ones with thunderous footfalls stomping atop the stubborn foundation of established truth. I have picked up a copy of a new novel called Gold. I didn’t intend to read it. The previous Chris Cleave bestseller was a novel called Little Bee. That came out a few years ago, when I was still working at the other bookstore. And quite frankly, I had no interest in it because even though it was a bestseller, the bestselling masses that came into the store to buy that book were usually old people — no offense to them, of course. But it didn’t seem like Chris Cleave was writing anything that I could relate to.
He had an event at the store last night. This event was planned long before I came on staff, but even if I had been in charge of it, I would have still been stressing out about making it right for the simple fact that he is definitely a Name Author. But the blockbuster crowd that I was imagining turned out to be modest, which wasn’t so great for Mr. Cleave’s publicist, who sighed audibly when she saw the turnout, but it worked for me because I had the chance to have a conversation with Mr. Cleave that probably would not have happened if the event had been larger. And I ended up buying Gold, and he signed it.
I am always trying to figure out what you’re thinking, Linc. I tell myself that I am interested in the mind of an athlete, that ever since I became a baseball fan in 2009, I have created my own ongoing syllabus of material about baseball and sports in general. That the reason why I have blazed through books such as Ball Four and Shoeless Joe and The Art of Fielding and The Tennis Partner plus anything ever written by Roger Angell is so I could better comprehend and possibly even adapt for myself the spirit of sports, of baseball itself — and yet, that is a ruse, because for me the great unknowable is not how to become an athlete, because I will never be one even as an amateur. What will always be out of my reach is one Timothy Leroy Lincecum, hereby christened since 2009 as an imagined double named Linc, and it was during Mr. Cleave’s event last night that, unbeknownst to him and the rest of the audience and my own fellow staffers, I sat among the modest crowd and came to the grim realization that even in the furthest of possibilities, you and I could never be.
I guess I’m the girly one. I was reading an article linked from Bleacher Report and the article quoted lyrics from your new walk-up song. In contrast, this morning, besides coffee and the fateful breaking of the fog just as I regained my energy and general sense of purpose, the song that geared me up could probably considered, um, not as masculine.
There are many factors to consider when a man ends up with another baseball player as a significant other — but, even grounded in reality (who knows how long the world will have to wait for a gay pro baseball player?) those factors remain the same. I consider myself somewhere in the ether between masculine and feminine, but I like my guys to be really guy-like, masculine and the kind whose idea of rocking out is knocking back beers and watching a baseball game. And then having amazing gay sex afterward.
Anyway, thank goodness these are never-to-be-sents. Ray would crucify me if he knew how often I used the Bleacher Report as a baseball news source. Hah… actually, I wonder what your opinion is of that rag. Low, I’d expect.
Each time I go on vacation with my friends, and it happens to be a road trip, we have a tradition of ending up at Harris Ranch when we go back home. This morning I took an epic dump — you know you wanted to know that bit of manly detail — that was the direct result of a prime rib (rare) dinner followed by dessert. The dessert was not a sensisble idea due to the fact that my body was screaming at me, “I’m full! I’M FULL!” But I have no idea when my next vacation will be, nor if it will even take me anywhere near Harris Ranch, so I decided to pile on some black cherry ice cream (which came with a delicious cookie) on top of the digesting heap that used to be dinner. Besides the occasional weekend getaway — and I’ve no idea if I’ll even be able to swing that — my vacation opportunities for the year have evaporated post-Comic Con. I expect to be working straight through Christmas. In a perfect world, these never-to-be-sents would be sent and received, and you’d come visit me at the store. Alas…
Then again, in a perfect world, my life would be nothing but going to ballgames that are then interrupted annually by Comic Con. I’m coming down from the high of vacation, and Comic Con always has a unique brand of highness, no matter how many years I’ve been going, that makes the real world especially unbearable after the fact. It’s not really just because I have to wait another year to escape into a world in which it is acceptable to have all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the subject of literary discourse equivalent to examining anything produced by Shakespeare and Dickens. It’s not just about the escape. It’s about reconciling the two worlds, making room for one world that can only materialize once a year and accepting the return into that inescapable primary world in which we are born. As the fog broke up this morning, confronting that primary world, my main existence, became easier simply because I had no choice. This is what’s in front of me now, and I’m going to live it. We all have to.
I moved into Clara’s place a few days before Comic Con. It all happened so quickly to me: the hauling of my stuff from Wolfie’s, and then hauling it into Clara’s, and then the next thing I knew I was in a car with the mission statement, To forget reality. And then, before I knew it again, reality fiercely returned to be remembered. Today is my day off, but I still have work to do. Settling into Clara’s place will keep my mind grounded in reality and help me to process the good memories of Comic Con while also move on from them.
Also, I’m plotting my next ballgame. I don’t have much money these days, but if I get a nosebleed seat and bring my own food, the expense shouldn’t be too bad. I love ballpark food, though. It’s insanely expensive and I don’t even want to do the math to calculate how much I have lost to bratwursts and fries that I could have gotten cheaper and brought in from elsewhere. In a sense, the business people behind The Ballpark take advantage of the fact that there are fans like me who are completists — who will only bring their own food occasionally, because most of the time getting food there is as crucial to the experience as the game itself, like how an arm must have its other, and two legs, feet and so on.
I’ve gained weight. I can see it in my face. To me, it looks rounder than before Comic Con; one week over there and I’m closer to being back to the old me than I want to be. I do admit to using vacation as an excuse to eat lots of food that isn’t exactly friendly to a marathon runner. But now that vacation is over, I am planning a return to my pre-Comic Con diet that was a fairly consistent regimen of boiled eggs, cottage cheese, fruit and oatmeal — the last of which I just had for breakfast. The thing with me is that it always seems so daunting to get started, but then once I have started, I’m off. I’m on the go and during that journey the real world seems bearable again.
We’re about two hours closer to home. I think we just drove by San Bernadino, which is in the news these days because it has declared bankruptcy. I’ll probably lose reception soon, so I’ll be quick with two thoughts that have crossed my mind.
Unbeknownst to my carmates, I took a nap and had the most equisitely erotic dream about a tall, muscular Latino boxer wearing nothing but baggy silver gym shorts. He took me in his arms, sat me on his legs and… well, anyway, I’ve never seen this guy in real life but he was pretty damned hot. I guess if blondes turn you on, then my flavor is Latin. I wonder if my married friends, though they certainly do love each other, are still, um, aroused by their own respective tastes.
Thinking about The Ballpark has made the vacation hangover easier to bear. I wish that Comic Con could go on forever, but then we got into a discussion about the old Giants “anti mascot” the Crazy Crab, which now lives on as a food stand in The Ballpark. That’s what it took for me to let go of Comic Con a little bit. The food at Crazy Crab is kinda expensive, but I sure could go for some garlic fries and a game right about now.