There are moments in a man’s life when there are no words. I must assume this is true for women as well. Non-binary folx, too. This, that, and the other thing. But forgive this aside about gender. Let’s try again, shall we?
There are moments in a person’s life when there are no words. When the capacity to make sense of experience with language fails. When all that is left is the overwhelming capacity to be overwhelmed.
I’ve been a trooper since March. Done battle with isolation and quarantine. Wore masks. Shopped with Instacart. Stomached the work of working online. Virtual schooling. Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting. Samson’s dentist appointment. The school district’s continuing improvisations. Slings and arrows, friends. Through it all, my soul has been well.
But something about last week hit me. And here’s what it was:
As if watching American democracy go up in flames in a debate that could only be described as theatre of cruelty wasn’t bad enough…
The Minnesota Twins lost their 18th consecutive playoff game. I was 24 the last time the Twins won a playoff game. I’m 40 now. Each game has been a special sort of suck. And this year, as the world burns (or, at the very least, coughs), was nothing special.
At a loss for words, friends. At a loss.
But of course that’s not true. I haven’t lost my words. Here I am a’rantin’ and a’ravin’. A bloggin’ and a hoggin’. Words, words, and more words. Staying the course.
I can’t even imagine what sort of verb “hogging” might be. I shan’t look it up for fear of some slang description of the activities of youngsters. Best to turn away.
Turning away is what I should have done during the debate. But I flipped to the channel. And I couldn’t look away from the train wreck. Embarrassing doesn’t capture it. I struggled to fall asleep after it was over. The yelling and interrupting was silly. The inability for a reasonable exchange over political issues was predictable, albeit disappointing. But a sitting president essentially promising not to honor the results of an election while, in the same breathe, coaxing white supremacists to turn out to monitor polls? Some of the residual blood of my Jewish ancestors that run through my veins recognized such tactics. Only one word comes to mind. Yikes.
And turning away is what I should have done during those Minnesota Twins games last week. The Astros are terrible this year. And the Twins are stacked. And yet. The bats fell silent. Our defense was abysmal. And, despite masterful pitching, the Twins were eliminated from the postseason before October even began.
I’m telling y’all. These are remarkable times. A World Series appearance would have been a salve. But ’twas not to be.
The days are a blur. Screens stand in for human connection. The boys fight the fight at virtual school. I’m doing my best to be an assistant professor of literacy education, PhD. But the work lacks some of the energy that comes from being with people. The lack of vitality is felt, friends.
Summer turns to fall. Pennsylvania is red, yellow, and orange. The pandemic drones on. The nation seems to have lost its collective mind.
And, dagnabbit, the Twins looked like a bunch of gibronis last week.
What a week.