Disclaimer: I am sick. Very, very sick. I don’t know what kind of terrible illness is going around right now, but I have it, and have had it for the better part of the week. So I watched today’s game through a haze of blankets and cold medicine, occasionally getting up to tend to my kitty, who is also sick. Current status: keeping very still in a quiet room with the shades drawn like a pair of Brontë heroines.
Being sick is the worst. It sharpens unpleasant sensations—why won’t my neighbors oil that hinge in their gate, do they not hear its constant donkey bray?—and flattens out formerly enjoyable things, like food. A steaming bowl of pho, tender ribs, creamy mac and cheese—all I can taste is salt. Being sick for any amount of time also plays tricks with the mind; you forget what it was ever like to be well. Terms I have googled over the past week: consumptive cough sounds like; home remedy vertigo; die from sneezing too hard. We aren’t ourselves when we’re sick; my poor kitty, fiercely independent, wants nothing more than to crawl right up onto my face when he’s feeling poorly. (“If I fits, I crawl directly into your nasal cavity.”) It messes with our stamina, too. I took a turn in the garden yesterday for “fresh air” and became so winded I had to forthwith retire to my fainting couch, which is probably more Victorian-era than Regency heroine but you get the idea. There is no fresh air in a sickroom, only a fusty, fetid, clamminess and the smell of bunched-up tissues and rumpled blankets, but the idea of getting up and going outside is akin to the idea of scaling Rainier in a hula skirt and go-go boots.
Watching the slow implosion of the Mariners over the past few months has felt, in ways, like the fever-dream of illness, that point where the border between sleep and waking shorts out in a pile of drool. Mariners fandom has taken on the claustrophobia of the sickroom, and the outlook on the patient isn’t great. The Mariners offered a breath of fresh air in taking three games from the Angels before dropping today’s contest using their B-squad against the Angels’ C-squad. Although Trout didn’t play and David Fletcher was removed from the game early with an injury, so maybe the Angels deserve a non-passing grade for this lineup. I watched the game in fits and starts, and each time I cracked open my eyes and saw the screen I had the same thought: “this is still going?” I imagine that’s how the average person in Seattle feels when they turn on a Mariners game.
There was one moment in this game, however, that zapped my quicksand brain and shot me bolt upright. The monster from the slab began to rise and suddenly to my surprise:
A VOGEY MASH!
IT WAS A SMASH!
And that’s the story of how Daniel Vogelbach saved Halloween. Good night.