1) Sweltering humidity smells like chaos. It feels like a SEC football game could break out around you at any moment. Sweating profusely while shuffling through cramped restrooms and long concession lines with thousands of other sweating, largely undressed human beings is an irrefutably stupid thing to do. The stickiness in the air hangs around like a blood thirsty predator breathing hot death on your neck. You've made a mistake, it says. You should have stayed inside. I'm on the hunt. But you came, because fealty is not something left to convenience and your fealty was demanded.
2) I assume that most Blue Jays fans in Safeco Field make an annual tradition of buying tickets to all 3 games Toronto plays in Seattle, and then plan a vacation around it. I assume the tickets are purchased as soon as single game tickets are available. I saw their giant, moose-drawn buses outside the stadium and I assume this is all a fun tradition. I've been to many SEA-TOR games over the years and Blue Jays fans typically have their run of the place. There may be a few of us who attempt to cheer back. But we're outnumbered, we're losing and lord knows we aren't going to score any runs.
Before the game a group of chanting Jays fans attempt to run across 1st and Edgar to Henry's for pregame beers. They get halfway when a Seattle Police Officer strides towards them, hand extended. The fans stop chanting and retreat to the curb.
Not today Canada. Not today.
3) The stadium is alive. The crowd is split almost in half by seas of yellow and blue. Constant, competing chants of "Let's Go Blue Jays" are drowned out by chants of "U-S-A U-S-A". You'd cringe but this isn't real life. This is theater. We're all playing a part. And we're all putting our full selves into our performance.
The show in the stands goes on. Every time Felix gets to 2 strikes we rise. No one complains to ushers. No one complains to us. They all just stand and cheer, lost in purpose.
4) When Robinson Cano hit it to left you could already see it being caught at the warning track. Safeco is built with the bones of murdered power hitters, their tears the mortar in the bricks. But somehow this ball cleared the fence, bouncing a samba dance with gleeful drunks in Edgar's. Opposite field home runs to left at Safeco are among the rarest species of home runs in baseball. This one summoned The Storm.
The hits came freely now. Torrents of doubles, triples, and runs. Runs upon runs upon runs. Rain started to fall. We put our heads back, opened our mouths and roared. There was no beginning to this game, and no end. Nothing mattered but the endless runs, the bottomless well of joy we had somehow tapped into. When Robinson Cano came to bat the 2nd time in the inning Zeus himself joined.
If you were on the 1st base side you saw the bolt. You couldn't miss it. But it was so fast that it didn't feel real. Then the thunder rolled and the crowd roared with a triumphant, primal scream. Cano countered the Thunder God with another bolt off the wall in left center. Nothing has meaning. There is no joy or sadness. Only energy, limitless energy. I watch myself scream for the thousandth time.
5) The 6th ends, the rain increases, and Thunderstruck comes on. We scream. We scream for Felix. We scream for Cano. We scream for the ghost of JJ Putz. We scream for ourselves. We are nothing but noise and fuel for gods at play. And we scream on.