Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BUY ME SOME PEANUTS AND CRACKERJACKS


Saturday night I watched the Giants pull it out of their ass in the bottom of the ninth. Great game and the ending was like sex. The crowd in the bar went nuts. I went nuts. I love baseball.

I joined a Baseball Team when I was in ninth grade. It was the first organized sports team I was ever on. I signed myself up because all my friends were on the team and they needed another player. My parents never made it to any of the games. I don't think we even had uniforms. I remember going to Peterson's Drive-In Restaurant after the game and eating burgers and fries with a cherry coke. I hit a home run once. Knocked in one other guy and we won the game. I can still remember the feeling of crossing home base as my friends and team mates congratulated me, slapping me on the back and pushing me around playfully. Otherwise, I was just a mediocre player. Later in High School we used to play tackle football at Mackenzie Park on Sundays in the fall. I played end and was good runner. I remember a couple of touchdowns. I loved getting together with my friends and playing. It was just for the fun of it.

My father was All State Baseball, Football and Basketball when he was in college. When I was a little kid he coached a minor league baseball team. I remember going to practice and games, playing under the bleachers. I didn't show much interest in the game at six years old. My dad never bought me a mit, taught me to throw a ball, how to hold the football with your fingers on the strings, how to dribble a ball or shoot a basket. I sucked at basketball. My dad loved College basketball and football.  I think he liked to relive his glory days.  In Junior High I excelled in track. Sprints, high jump and long jump. I have strong legs. In High School I joined the Swim Team and played tennis. The thought of playing a team sport and fucking up terrified me. I only felt comfortable playing with my buddies.

When I was in my twenties, my dad confessed to me that he used to sit in his car across the street from the baseball diamond and watch my games. I was a sensitive kid, an artist, a bookworm but I also had a wild crazy side, but for the most part I was not the jock my father hoped I would be. He told me he was afraid of being embarrassed by me on the field. He asked me to forgive him for not being the dad he should have been. He cried while he told me that he gave up being my dad and relinquished parenting me to my mother. I was their first born and my mother had lost a daughter from a previous marriage when her ex took the baby back to Indiana.  My father said he felt that my mother's needs were more important.  He told me he watched me hit that home run and how horrible he felt sitting in his car crying as I crossed home base and he was not there to congratulate me and could never tell me he was there.  I remember thinking, "you fucking asshole!  I hope you felt like shit."  I told my dad I forgave him that day, but I didn't.  I held on to those feelings of resentment and anger until the day he died.  On the plane ride to Phoenix as I flew to his memorial service, looking out the window as I turned away from the stranger sitting next to me,  I cried as I mourned the relationship we never had and finally forgave the asshole.

4 comments:

Peace Man said...

MiracleMan,
I'm glad to hear you let go of the resentment and forgave your Dad. My Dad was terrible alcoholic, short tempered and prone to outbursts of violence. But I forgave him many years ago, and from his examples have managed to avoid the same pitfalls in life. You should in some way feel proud of the fact that your Dad was parked across the street that day watching you. I'm sure in his own way he was very proud of you. I'm proud of you for forgiving him.

Great post.

Peace man

miracleman said...

Hey Brother,
I finally had to resolve that both my dad and my mom were doing the best they could with what they had to work with. It has also helped me to be a better parent for which I am very proud. I adored my dad. He was a great guy in so many ways and loved by many, but he was not perfect and in some ways a coward. I miss the asshole every day. Thanks for your kindness and understanding.

Love, MM

rugbysex said...

man have i had my head up my ass. whew! how is it we get so self-absorbed?!
so sorry my dear, dear friend! sorry i didn't read this when you first posted it. sorry that i didn't write to you and tell you what a beautiful post this was. it's thursday morning, 4/14 and i'm just reading this now. forgive me buddy!
we really are a product of our upbringing. so much pain and suffering and quiet desperation out there. everyone has some small horror, some private humiliation, some unbearable sadness.
it takes something remarkable, real character, to share this private hurt with others. real courage. you have all of that MM, courage, character, compassion. thank you for sharing this.
i do know this much. the hurt only becomes greater if we don't let it go. only then can we move on. i'm glad you forgave your father. i KNOW you were a great dad. like peace man, i'm proud of you. and especially proud to be your friend. pax tibi frater.
cheers!

miracleman said...

Dear Sweet Rugbysex,
No worries, brother. I knew you'd get there eventually. Thanks for your kindness and peace to you too, my brother.

Love, MM