a write to be wrong
Today, I am humbling throwing in the towel in another “failed” attempt to gain a sense of accomplishment trough #NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writers Month.
To be honest, I am actually proud to be bowing out. It is a sign of success for me. It is a symbol that I willing to admit that I need to say “no”. It is a symbol that I am aware of other points that need higher focus. It is realization of that, although I know in my heart that I am a writer, there is no passion in this project for me. To carry on would only mean languishing in the feigned existence of intention and to judge myself harshly once more by how well I measured up in the lie.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright; the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light, and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; but there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out. Casey At the Bat, Ernest Thayer 1888
Lines I have known well through my life and always seemed to coexisted in. In parallel, by measure of the living game, I never had my winning runs and every time I stepped up to the plate, I just seemed to always swing and miss. The invisible pitcher seemed to be a cruel master of destiny whose single purpose was to take his opponent's glory out. As the years pass on, the stadium grew colder and the chill gnashed at the ever shrinking hope in the hollowing shell of the man stepping up to the plate.
It has taken me nearly forty years to recognize the pitcher. It took may falls and pains to cry the right tears to wash off the cover of that very real opaque figure. Nearly forty years he lived under that invisible cloak woven by denial and a warped perception of judgement. It was the #ADHD Me who stared me down and hurled those pitches and taunts. For all these years, I took his message to be “You are never going to win” and every time I took that message to be true. It became as self-fulfilling prophecy.
We met once again today and I heard his voice whisper out with a sneer, “Welcome back”. I stared back across the plate at the empty space between us. I picked up the bat, he wound up and pitched, and I just stood there. The ball, like time itself, whizzed by and I just lowered the bat. I expected a gleeful, sadistic question “Give up?” amidst a stream of a shaming laugh; instead, the tone changed completely. I detected a smirk on that face. “'Bout damn time you figured it out.” His smiled widened as he relaxed his posture and began strolling towards me. “This is not your game.”
There we were standing eye-to-eye and those last five words that haunted me all those years with anger, sadness, and envy. They sounded so different in the replay. The words tumbled through my mind through every scene that I could remember in my life and as if there was some magical remastering of the film, the sound had changed. What once was overpowering, demoralizing, and subjugating became matter-of-fact. He had faced me for a lifetime, not as an enemy, but as a mentor. “This is not my game,” I repeated back. The sentence began as if someone else had my voice and ended with a breath of fresh air filling the lung with understanding.
He was right. We walked out of the stadium together, each with a beer in hand, open ears, and open mouths. As the midnight had well passed, yawns made and the quest for rest had taken over, he turned to me to say, “This doesn't change a thing.” It was foreboding. “I am still going to be there, at all of them. Every part where you strive for glory and satisfaction. You are going to hate me and you are going to love me, my friend; but don't worry, you will find it. We will find it together. See you tomorrow.” He inserted a maniacal laugh just before his final words, “Good night”.