Monday, September 19, 1994

No Joy in Davesville

The score was 0-0, the game yet to begin.
All the players got loose, some looked within.
It was a social gathering, a good time for all.
Conversations intertwined as we threw the ball.
Across the field, she strode towards us.
Others oblivious, as my mind's eye buzzed.
She was merry, slim and sleek.
I was inspired, separate and meek.
The grass long and green,
the infield recently cleaned.
The game began,
I led off, hit and ran.

After every summer there is a fall. This fall, however, will be unlike any I've experienced in my previous twenty nine. And I'm pissed.

For me, it started when I was in second grade, twenty two years ago. My mother gave me a Minnesota Twins yearbook which had a picture of the Q man, Frank Quilici on the cover, arms outstretched, questioning the call of an umpire. I studied that book cover to cover, day after day. I memorized all the pictures and stats. My Mom and I watched the Twins lose to the Yankees something like 12-2 on our new portable Panasonic black and white TV with a screen about 8 inches in diameter and I was forever hooked. I was in love. I started collecting baseball cards; Mom explained the nuances, and the infield fly rule. My brother and I spent all of our time trying to learn how to play the game, how to get all the moves and skills down.

Nearly every morning since then I have begun my days by looking at the box scores to the previous night's games. The routine now includes coffee, but not much else has changed about the way I prepare myself for the upcoming day. Besides my family, and my bad haircuts, not much else has followed me and stayed with me over that period of time. You get used to something and it hurts when it's gone. Absence makes the heart grow sadder.

She jabbered on, and I heard,
once again, hung on every word.
We played the game,
familiar and the same.
A figure in Greek
full of mystique
broke in time
in my heart and mind.

I'm not sure who's to blame for the premature end of this season. I don't care. But there is a huge hole in my day and I needed that like I need another hole in the head (trepanning might be the solution to this). I'm not into this nostalgic thing either- it doesn't much matter to me these fans moaning about the lost history, the cries to get back to what the game really means (those dweeby St. Paul Saint types). Yes, the game was never meant to be played in a sterile plastic blue THING downtown, and the meaning goes beyond making lots and lots of money. But so much of life is business and it's hypocritical to see why baseball should be held to this phony cleansing light. What does bother me these days is trying to find an alternative to something that has always been there, and I thought always would. I WAS PLAYING BOCCE BALL LAST FRIDAY FOR PETE'S SAKE! AND THINKING THIS GAME HAS POSSIBILITIES!!! I WAS INTO TOSSING THE PEA!!!! SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!

The final inning arrived
the score was not on our side.
It was my turn to bat
as she quietly sat.
The errors already made
the memories slowly fade.
One last chance,
a jig and a dance.
Runners on second and third.
Her voice was the last one heard.
I swung as hard as I could
the ball avoided the wood.

We all need, and some of us have our own outlets from the day to day frustrations of the job, of the family, of friends- somewhere, something we can go to, that helps us unwind and get our minds off the natural born dwelling that lies within. Baseball was my diversion. It is such a diverse game; intellectual yet simple; cerebral yet physically demanding; a team sport yet the game often comes down to what individuals can do; the very purpose of which is to make it home safely. I've seen thousands of games over the years and not one has been a waste of my time. The game didn't need this. America didn't need this. I didn't need this either. On top of a summer which wasn't exactly going along with grace and pleasure, this latest blow, blows the big one.

There has been a lot of apathy to the baseball strike. Apparently a lot of people are fed up with the greed, the absolute selfishness of all those involved. Most fans have gone on with their lives and found other things to do. Not David. David dwells. David sulks (again). This little guy admits he misses the game. Wishes all sides would get together and play again, pleas(e). Until then, I'll be on my knees.

Somewhere in the distance
happiness in an instant.
But tonight there is no joy
tonight the man is a boy.
The cheers come to a close
a sniffle in the nose.
For the mighty Dave hears no shout,
the mighty Dave has struck out.

Monday, September 12, 1994

Under the Influence of Speed

All summer I waited for the movie, Speed to make its way to the Roseville 4 so I wouldn't have to shell out more than two bucks to see a movie I was interested in, but hardly could classify as cinema (and by golly I'm not the type who will just go to a movie). Of all the blockbuster summer smashes, this is the one whose reviews and plot description caught my fancy. Well, last week, it finally arrived. And I quickly sped right on over to see it.

I was not disappointed. It was a fun movie, full of action, suspense and that Sandra Bullock, I need not say anymore (she made me have another of my occasional allergic reactions full of tears of familiarity hitting me in a still vulnerable spot). It occurred to me while I was contemplating what I learned inside the movie theater that afternoon, that the movie was an excellent commentary on life in today's society.

After all, isn't life just like a runaway bus? Out of control, headed in a singular direction? Going way too fast but somehow there is the feeling that if you slow down, take the time to actually evaluate stuff, it's all going to blow up in your face? Stuck among a bunch of strangers who you either don't care for or you develop a common goal which brings you together somehow if only for a moment? We all have our routines, our routes, and when events throw us off that schedule, often it is hard to make the adjustments without all hell breaking loose. Bury that head in the sand. Bus Alert!

The bad guy in the movie, played by Dennis Hopper (or maybe he wasn't playing), created all the havoc, was willing to hurt innocent(?) people just because he felt his life's work wasn't justly compensated. Who among us hasn't felt the same frustration at some point? You work like hell and no one seems to notice. You feel as if you could just make one grand statement, blow it off your chest, you'd be a healthier individual (or you would go off the deep end). Just be thankful we work with CDs, LPs, and cassettes, not with explosives. There are a lot of people out there who feel like life owes them something

Yeah, the fifty foot flying bus stretched credibility just a bit, but sometimes in life you reach a point where you have to take risks; risks that you wouldn't take under normal circumstances, but you are just too damned tired and all else seems lost. The logical approach might be to figure out how to defuse the situation in front of you, but the easier action is to just watch it unfold in front of you. Who among us doesn't take the easiest route when at all possible?

There was a repeated line that popped up a couple of times in the movie, where Keanu and Sandra said to each other, with irony in their love stricken eyes, "Relationships that begin under extreme circumstances never work out." Most of the time only shared experiences don't lead to coupledom. What draws us together can be dangerous. But there are other reasons to get involved. This movie's philosophy was right on the mark.

And yes, they never did get control of the bus. It blew up. Real good. Somehow no matter how hard you try, life will eventually do the same. Believe me.

Monday, September 5, 1994

After the Summer There is Always the Fall

"Sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers."

-the reverend, Garth Brooks

To give you a glimpse of what will be a fresh, regular feature in the new and improved newsletter, we ask the question, "Tell us the most intriguing thing you heard last week?"

The following are notes I jotted down from the past week, granted a fairly poor one for myself, of things I heard, many which came from the voices inside my own head. For any of you aspiring artists out there, feel free to use any of these in your work. Just make sure you make your checks payable to the newsletter. Thanks.

She was a friend of fate. But was she too late?

I want to be happy, but what can I do?

Now I'm too far down the road.

I'm looking for a woman that don't exist.

Simply smitten in a second.

Jealousy and envy, parallel lines, just like your heart and your mind.

Shot of whiskey, shot of novacane.

Coincidences happen more frequently than fate.

Flying bees.

You may be living on love, but you still have to feed the chickens.

You are a Cancer, but not a crab. I am a Scorpion that's been stung.

Can't get too deep and lose your beliefs.

Microscopic gossip jammed in a jar.

Destiny desires that go too far.

Comic relief that no one asked for.

She put the bang in gun powder.

A rhythm between flesh and bone.

Going down where the river falls.

Why so quiet?

Within your grasp, but you just can't touch.

The higher the hopes, the deeper the heartfelt sadness.

Outta sight, out of memory and mind. Never mind.

What might have been and what is aren't even related.

Don't worry about what you can't control.

Positively subterranean.

Darkest deep brown eyes I've seen.

Shimmering free and flowing clear.

Purr like jazz.

She smelled like the sweetest ocean breezes.

Funkier and more irresistible, more intelligent than six white horses. Beauty to its very core.

Monumental as anything you'd find in Washington DC.

You must look to see the other face in the mirror.

Dreaming in red.

Not to make light of the events of the past week, but last Wednesday Ramblin' Rose invited me over to have lunch with her. I wanted to stop at my bank located on Grand Avenue. As I left downtown, I drove up the hill, looked up John Ireland Boulevard towards the Cathedral, where I saw about 9,000 police cars lined up from sidewalk to sidewalk all the way down the road. The police procession was waiting to proceed. I don't know why, maybe the suppressed rebel within, but I had the overwhelming urge to put the petal to the metal and scream on by at about 90 mph, just to see if anyone would break ranks and come after me. But being the responsible adult I've become, I just fluttered on by.


On the same subject, while there was something very moving about the outpouring that followed last week's tragic events, and the number of people who showed their support, it also was an example of what is wrong with us. If our community demonstrated that much concern at the beginning, instead of waiting and accepting the end result, perhaps the problem wouldn't be so pervasive. There was a sad overture that played over the event as we watched the two people, who were just doing their duty (their duty being protecting us and enforcing the law) killed at random by someone who has stated he wanted to kill even more. Washington's solution is back ended, to put more cops on the streets and offer alternatives like midnight basketball. But why do we leave it up to people like Oliver Stone to look at the culture that creates this atmosphere? Just when did we reach the point where violence is now accepted as something for which we have no solution? Why does it take a tragedy to make us feel? How, as a community can we prevent, or try to deal with the overwhelming hopelessness and despair that leads to so many lost people?