A few days ago, I went to breakfast with some family that had just flown into Seattle for the week. It was my cousin, her husband, and their two little girls. One of the girls is five years old, and the other is nine. I hadn’t seen either of them in about four years. It was unsettling, to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong. They were both awesome. Precocious, hilarious, and smart. I spend a decent amount of time around children, and I know that kids can surprise you. But for the first time in my life, I witnessed a stark and sudden transition between a helpless infant and a fully sentient, walking, talking child. For me, little time has passed. For them, it seemed an eon of development had come and gone.
As happy as I was to be with them, I couldn’t help but freak out a little at how quickly it seemed the time had passed. I couldn’t help but realize how quickly it will seem the next four years will pass. And the four after that. And the four after that. And I couldn’t help but spend that moment with my family, which was supposed to be filled with joy, trapped in a banal and unoriginal suspension of existential terror.
Maybe it would be easier to age if we knew it would happen gracefully. We’ve all seen the great grandmothers that are running half marathons at 92, and most of us might say that we want to be her. But it’s far more difficult to shake the fear that we’ll be the 71-year-old whose hands won’t stop shaking, or the 66-year-old who can’t remember his daughter’s name. Especially when we see a photo of those people from when they were young, and realize that the same thing could happen to us.
Dying, for the most part, isn’t graceful.
Mariners has an altercation in the clubhouse pregame. Dee Gordon asked the media to leave and shut the doors and the incident broke out minutes later.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) September 4, 2018
It can be long, and it can be drawn out. It can take longer than it should, and can happen entirely too quickly. Sometimes at the same time.
When someone is dying, we desperately wish for them to stay. But maybe they’re in pain, and it pains them to stay. So we feel selfish and guilty for wanting them to stay, and we wonder if we should want them to die. But that feels selfish and guilty too. And this process sucks enough as it is, so why do all of these conflicting feelings have to play into the equation, because can’t one fucking thing about this be easy?
When it’s our turn, how many people will be there to say goodbye?
The 11,265 tonight at Safeco is the ninth smallest crowd in club history. The last time they had a sub 12,000 crowd was September 9, 2014 vs. the Astros.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) September 5, 2018
I know some people get over it, and some people ignore it, and some others still drown it out with whatever-other-stimulus. But as this team, which just 75-or-so days ago was rife with vitality and hope, wheezes, flounders, and is ultimately cast down and humiliated, all of these thoughts and feelings come to the surface, as fresh as if the wounds had been ripped open yesterday.
The Mariners are dying the death that nobody wants. The worst team in baseball tried their best to hand the Mariners a win, and they couldn’t win.
It’s been four years, and another four, and another four, and another four, and soon to be one more, since they so much as made the playoffs.
Hurtling toward us, cruelly and uncontrollably, is another off-season of wondering how many more it’ll be.