Calamity At Every Corner: Episode 2: [take me out to the ball game]
I pretty much live for spontaneity. I embrace random. Life is constantly throwing me random curve balls, crazy plot twists. My spontaneous and random ideas that turn into plans are my way of fighting back. Life, you wanna twist? I’ll turn. You don’t tell me.
We don’t need a reason to celebrate where I’m from, but this time we had one - a wedding. The night before the big day a few of us girls shacked ourselves up in a cabin so we could behave and get some rest before our big day of standing around and looking pretty.
Behaving lasted a hot minute. We got rowdy playing spoons and decided to head to the bar. We grew up in this tiny town, going to the bar is like going home. It’s so small town the bride encountered two exes by the time she ordered her first drink.
We drank, we danced, we shot pool (as best as we could manage). We whooped it up, hometown style. Evidence below.
Please notice the dirty New York Yankees logo on the lovely lady to the far right. That’s Katie. Katie had a lovely baseball themed wedding this summer, Yankees vs. Tigers. It was gorgeous. All the way to the left you can see a pretty big Tigers fan. We had learned during rehearsal dinner that the Yankees were advancing and would face off against the Tigers for the ALCS. This caused lots of excited chatter throughout the night, at least for Katie and I.
Shortly before closing time, someone had enough sense to decide we should probably get some rest before the big day. Four girls and night time routines are kind of a nightmare. While Katie and I were waiting our turns for the bathroom, we talked about how awesome it would be to go to the playoff game. 3am is a pretty magical time for me. I make some awesome and/or bad decisions around then.
This one turned out awesome. Katie, the bride, their husbands, and I all ended up with tickets behind the home plate to watch the 4th game in the series. We made up some pretty epic signs to keep ourselves entertained and to get a little camera action. It worked. We did two camera interviews and a radio interview before we even walked into the park.
Walking in felt like Christmas. I was surrounded my smiles, happy faces eager to get to their seats and enjoy the game. The Tigers were ahead 3-0 in the series, it looked like we were about to watch them sweep the Yankees. Our seats were pretty far up, but we had a great view.
When we got to our seats, we noticed the scoreboard was splattered with weather radar and a notice – the game was on rain delay.
A little rain never hurt anyone, right? We settled in and took turns grabbing food and beer. Katie’s husband came back with some nachos and they looked pretty good, but not much for six bucks. I finally took my turn for concessions. The crowd was getting pretty thick by now, so I just stood in line at the booth closest to our seats.
Turns out the men in Detroit really like me. My nachos took a little longer; two people ordered and were served ahead of me. I had plenty of time (and a beer in my hand) so I didn’t mind. Sparkling eyes and a wide grin came around the corner. He dropped me a wink. “This right here is the coach’s special." It was the most epic mound of processed cheese & chips that I’ve ever seen. This was going to be a great night.
We all dug into the nachos. Drank a beer. Drank another beer. And then yet another beer. My friends were blowing up my phone, this rain delay had everyone on edge. Not me. It’s rain. It’s just water. I play in the rain.
The thing about it though, is it wasn’t even raining. Yeah, there were some dark clouds, but that doesn’t mean anything. The two teams finished out the ninth inning the night before in an all-out steady drizzle. Surely they could play and make it through this epic game. I had just come off one hell of a rough patch – bronchitis, extraction, stomach issues, anxiety and stress over situations I have no one but myself to blame – all I wanted was to kick back and enjoy America’s favorite game and have a great time with some great friends. I wanted to witness this sweep, to see history happen. I needed a little sunshine in my life before my approaching doomsday.
I was laughing and taking a sip of my fourth beer when the high pitched screech of the announcer’s mike sounded. They called the fucking game. The stadium began to buzz and the swarm of angry hornets filed out slowly. I sat there and enjoyed my fucking seven dollar beer. Because that’s what you do. Katie – well, Katie is an avid baseball fan. She didn’t take the news so well. She threw a tantrum like a two year old. Her husband threatened to take her out to the car and beat her ass like a two year old.
After an argument or two (tensions were running pretty high as we juggled work schedules and made arrangements), we all finished our beers and slowly made our way back to the car. We had some crazy adventures along the way, complete with quotes that are sure to never leave the memory banks.
We all stayed in this shitty, dirty hotel. It was kind of beautiful though. But dirty. I slept (rather, attempted to) on some towels that smelled like tacos on the dirty ass floor. 3am rolled around and I couldn’t resist the urge to write any longer. I bled out this piece and finally heard from a favorite in London.
Calamity At Every Corner: Episode 1: [Sunday, Bloody Sunday]
Sunday, Bloody Sunday [think of this as a story book with pictures]
This was possibly the most tragic Sunday I’d endured in quite a while.
White knuckles on my steering wheel; I could not keep my eyes on the road. These clouds. Clouds kept distracting me; they were breathtaking. Big heavy tufts of white scattered around hazes of heavy grey. The earth seemed to have two layers to me lately; suddenly, I was often seeing levels of clouds unlike ever before. I pushed thoughts of apocalypse out of my head and wondered why my world was caving in. I ducked my head at odd angles for a better look out of my windshield, the view was more important than staying on the road. I needed to see where everyone goes at the end. It looked like a great day to be there.
I turned into the parking lot, arranged myself for a quick escape. I hate these places and I hate these things. I pulled open the door to the funeral home and was unexpectedly hit with a wall of unpleasant smells I couldn’t quite place, but I had the feeling that embalming fluid and tears were definitely among the list of offensive. I’ve been to this place more times than I care to count, but the smell had never hit me quite like that.
I spent the next few hours avoiding public tears and offering consoling hugs and promising, apologetic smiles. It literally kills me to see the people I love suffer. As the minister offered the same old words in the same old manner on the same old subject my mind wandered. I am longer afraid of death. Is that troublesome? I wasn’t sure. I had seen Death’s face enough times in the last three years that it no longer jarred me.
All of these topics were plaguing my mind, and I needed a distraction to replace the images of my loved ones’ contorted faces and flowing tears. This being my last day of freedom for a year or so, I decided to go on one of my adventures.
I had this road in mind that I’d mean meaning to try out, and that was my decided goal for the day. This being the second to last weekend in September, the trees had just started to turn magnificent colors.
Here’s the first picture of my journey:
On my way to the curious road, there were a few more clouds & signs & pictures I couldn’t resist taking:
By now the uneasiness I had felt earlier in the afternoon had started to melt away. Fresh air, beautiful skies, and long, leisurely drives have a way of clearing my head. I finally made it to my beckoning dirt road I’d always wanted to traverse.
Oh yes, and although I hate hate hate self snapshots, I decided to throw a few gpoys in along the way
(see, I can’t even take this shit seriously)
Much to my surprise, my long awaited road lead me to a secret little lake. I love lakes. And since I’m such a rebel, I blatantly disregarded the posted sign, in the name of art. I’m from BFE, these ‘No Trespass’ signs are really meant to keep unwanted hunters off of private property. I also came across a lovely fallen birch tree, which I had to snap as birch is my favorite.
I continued on. My road rounded and offered a place to turn around, or a two-track to go forward at one’s own risk; a seasonal road not maintained by the county. This is my cup of tea exactly. I was all in.
See how the branches are so self-indulgent they intertwine to make their own arch? I was drunk on nature at this point, and my smile miles wide. The smell of the air, and the sounds all around, and the glow of the green… this is heaven. I can never quite find the words to describe the green glow of a forest. They radiate and its magical. You can see the magic, you can feel the magic. I just can’t describe this magic. I was determined to capture this magic in a picture, but yet again, I failed.
I kept on down my two track for miles and miles, wandering about the forest. On this particular journey I was alone, but when friends have accompanied me on other such adventures, they tend to express concern about getting lost. Let me tell you a secret, there is no getting lost. It is sad. I’ve wanted nothing more than to get lost and survive on my own for a week and have an epiphany about life and find out the secrets of the world; be a modern, rogue Thoreau. Sadly, I had a job my freshman year of college delivering pizzas, and learned all too well how to navigate the cardinal directions in my car and that “Mile” roads in my county run East-West, while the “Avenues” run North-South. No matter where I go, I can always get home. This isn’t the worst set of skills to have, I suppose.
So miles & miles later I end up at the county line. I decided to go the long way back home. By now the sun is starting to set, and it is wonderful, magnificent, glorious. I am in a particularly hilly area, and I know that if I drive up just the right hill, facing just the right direction, I can snap the most awe inspiring photograph of the sunset and turn this awful day into something hopeful, something promising. I find an inviting road and turn the opposite direction of my true destination, all in the name of a great photo. Well, I decided this road was much too tempting, that I would want to drive too far to the north, when I really needed to head south to get to the cemetery before nightfall. I see what looks to be a nice clearing ahead in which to swing in and turn around, and what the hell really… I have four wheel drive.
Have I mentioned ever, how calamity finds me at every corner?
Oh, nature. These beautiful, tall grasses were concealing a nice, long, deep ditch. This picture doesn’t really do the hole justice… the top of the ditch was about where my hood is. There were no beautiful pictures of the sunset on this day. There was a call for help to one of my best friends, and a nice old man arrived nearly the same time she did. He pulled me out with chains and his tractor. My face was a nice shade of red the rest of the evening.
This is how I learned to smile through the pain. These little episodes happen every so often. (And by that, I mean often.) I figure I have two options, give up & cry or smile & push through.
What’s a little ditch when hours earlier you were laying someone to rest? Grin & bear it, baby.