Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
After the game ended last night I called for a Lyft to take me home. The air was filled with the sound of vehicles laying on their horns, illegal firecrackers (possibly, dammit, a handgun or two) and shouts of joy from the windows. The driver who picked me up was named Troy. He was wearing a New York Yankees cap.
“Yankees fan, huh?” I said. “This must be a familiar thing for you.”
“Nah,” he said. “I’m not really a Yankees fan. I just like the hat.”
Troy told me that he was a lapsed baseball fan, that he’d been deeply into the game as a kid but had stopped being interested as he grew older. I told him that I was the opposite–I hadn’t cared much for baseball as a kid, and it was only after starting my first job in the city out of college, working as an editorial assistant at a small publishing house that worked chiefly on sports biographies and histories, that I began to understand the appeal of the game. Like so many of my interests, I’d come to it later than others and then put a great deal of time and effort into catching up and developing an expertise.
On the entire drive north I watched people hugging and high-fiving each other on the sidewalks. I would occasionally raise my fist out the window in solidarity.
Troy told me that he’d realized recently, while Chicago was in the throes of its championship fever, that his own interest in baseball had fallen off due specifically to the death of his grandfather, who had played in the NegroLeagues and who had regaled young Troy with stories of watching Joe DiMaggio and other luminaries of the sport. I asked Troy what team his grandfather had played for; Troy couldn’t remember and for some reason I didn’t go to the obvious follow-up question of his grandfather’s name. In the end the detail was less important than the story of the relationship.