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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thoughts on the Death of Jeter
Derek Jeter, A Pretentious Erotic Holo-Novel
It truly was a brillig night. Esquire, the Jubjub bird of men’s publications, had informed me about the death of Derek Jeter.
It’s difficult to collect one’s thoughts into a convenient ziggurat when one hears about the departure of one of the titans, especially in these humid press of days that make up the free agent antebellum of the end of October.
Hero means a lot of things to a lot of people, but what is a hero? Homo sapiens has made many attempt to sling ink about the mortal manifestations of heroism, but who has truly succeeded? From Pindar to David Bowie to Philip Glass to Quizno’s, heroism has been a concept that has eluded mankind, a construct that defies description.
I cannot properly elucidate what a hero means to me, only describe how I feel about the loss of a hero, that which Derek Jeter truly epitomizes.
I am cold.
As I sit here in my dark walnut leather arm chair, all I feel is coldness. I listen to Porcupine Tree’s ‘In Absentia’ and while the air smells of black cardamom and meadowsweet, my olfactory organ only detects the pungent scent of brimstone.
My heart continues to beat, ostensibly transferring warm blood to my mortal shell, but the warmth is gone. I am not Roald Amundsen, but Robert Scott. I am a soldier at Berezina. I am George Donner.
I cannot move. The paralytic frigidity that surrounds me is such that my Old Navy Performance Fleece with drawstring hood and roomy scoop pockets, recently reduced from $24.50 to $20.00 available in sizes S through XXXL and in colors Rooster Red, New Black, Dark Sea Blue, or Heather Charcoal cannot begin to beat it back.
While my Old Navy Performance Fleece may be Rooster Red, I am not a rooster. A rooster crows to announce the coming of the dawn, a new day, a new beginning. Roosters represent hope, of which I now possess little. I am Charlton Heston watching Edward G. Robinson’s corpse. I am Roddy Piper being told to Obey.
How does one move on with their life? By remembering the good times.
I have one special moment in particular I’d like to recall for my fellow mourners.
September 9, 1998. It was a dark time in our nation’s history. America was reeling from a succession of disasters – MySpace was launched the previous week, thus revealing to a shocked nation what a bunch of idiots their children were. Google was founded and Pokemon premiered on Kids WB, sending the message to our progeny that the meaning of life was forcing mythical creatures into fighting each other for no particular reason. “Collect ‘em all!” was the mantra incited to our bairns, forcing them to revert to their primordial hunter-gatherer instincts.
The New York Yankees were playing the Boston Nine at old Fenway. The Green Monster was especially verdant on this particular day, taunting the Yankee athletes with the green-eyed monster of envy, imparting a biliverdinous pall on their souls.
Timothy Wakefield was the designated ball-thrower of the Massachussetsians and quite a man he was. To those unfamiliar with Mr. Wakefield’s arts, he uses the keratin growths on his digits in order to propel the white sphere in an unorthodox matter. He truly is a pitcher in touch with the universe, allowing the stochastic nature of existence to envelop him like a lover, providing humanity with a demonstration of the Friedman-Robertson-Walker model to describe an ever-expanding universe.
Jeter would have none of that. In the first inning, Jeter propelled the product of Wakefield’s dark arts into the stratosphere, forcing the Crimson Footwears into realizing that even some forces aren’t eternally persistent.
In the third inning, Jeter did it again.
Jeter came up again, but fate has a funny way of dealing its own cards. The erstwhile Wakefield had fled the scene, terrified by the bleak Kafkaesque world that called out to him, leaving his comrades to fill in for him. And a mighty trio they were. John Wasdin, who some have described as the Clement VI of the Ballfield. The ever-mercurial Greg Swindell, whose life was an ever-going battle between genius and insanity. And last, but certainly not least, Dennis Eckersley, a baseball Methuselah who subsisted by consuming the life force of A’s first rounders. Where Kirk Dressendorfer failed, “The Eck” succeeded.
However, it didn’t matter. Jeter had given the Yankees the required margin of victory. Excelsior!
These memories comfort me and will hopefully serve to break the ice around my left ventricle, if I can be excused from using poetic freedom. I’ve had a long life and seen many things, from childhood in Riga with only Snagglepuss and the Hanseatic League to keep my belly fed to the time I saw Dain II Ironfoot fall at Erebor. But I will never see the likes of Jeter again.
Farewell, Dear friend.
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