Nervous Wreck

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(It’s as if all of this…exploded)

I am actually making myself sick.

I don’t know if it’s psychosomatic or if this is an actual, physical problem. But I do know that I do not feel well. My stomach is in knots, my nose is stuffy and my TMJ is back, which means I’m spending an inordinate amount of time clenching my jaw and/or grinding my teeth.

I WONDER WHY THAT IS?

I haven’t eaten anything solid since lunchtime yesterday and even that didn’t set too well. Last night, I just…forgot to eat. This is not like me. This is not normal.

I brought actual work from my actual job home to work on last night because when one area of one’s life explodes with complications and stress, all other areas must follow suit. So it was work-work to freelance-work to baseball-anxiety. Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect $200. Do not remember to eat dinner.

I found myself downing a giant mug of coffee and a sliced tomato at 10:30 last night. Surely, this is not healthy living.

This morning, when I got up and ran into Colleen on the way to the shower, we grunted our good mornings and she asked me how I was feeling. “I’ll tell you one thing,” I said, running my toothbrush under the faucet, “I’m not raising my kids to be sports fans.”

She looked at me quizzically, her hand on her hip and cocked her head, “Oh no?”

I spit out my mouthful of toothpaste. “You’re right,” I said, “Half the reason I’d like to have kids is to raise them as sports fans. We’re all doomed.”

“That’s what I thought,” she said.

She has known me for a decade. She can call bullshit with the best of ’em.

And speaking of bullshit, would you like to know what I was doing after the debacle of a Sox game ended last night? I will tell you. What I was doing was stealing Marianne’s MLBTV feed on my laptop (reasoning that she was not using it), and watching the top of the 9th inning of the Yankees/Baltimore game. The 9th inning of a game in which the Orioles were leading by a score of 17-9. There was already one out. I repeat: the Orioles were winning by eight runs and I felt the need to watch for myself to ensure that they would not self-destruct and implode, allowing the Yankees to improbably take the game.

“Kristen,” Colleen said as she cleaned the kitchen and benevolently organized my path of destruction, “Go to bed. The Yankees are not winning this game.”

“One time,” I responded, “they scored thirteen runs in an inning.”

“When was this?” she asked.

I was cut off by Michael Kay spouting off from the YES network feed, emenating from my laptop speakers, “Earlier this season, the Yankees scored thirteen runs in an inning against the Devil Rays, so anything is possible.”

“Oh,” Colleen said.

“Bite me, Michael Kay,” I growled.

But in the end, she was right. The Yankees did not win. Neither, I might add, did the Red Sox, or the Indians. Leaving us right back where we started. A two-way deadlocked tie for the AL East and a three-way tie for the AL Wild Card. It’s as if last night never happened since no one accomplished anything. I suppose of the best and worst case scenarios, it’s right down the middle. But even though I prefer it to slipping, there’s something unsettling about stasis.

“What happens if the season ends with all these teams tied?” Colleen asked me.

I began to read to her from the article on MLB.com: “What if the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians all finish with the same records? The Yankees and Red Sox play in New York for the AL East title and the loser plays the Indians for the Wild Card berth on Tuesday. New York is at the Jake if the Yanks lose and the Tribe is at Fenway if the Red Sox lose.”

“Got that?” I asked her.

“Ow,” she said, “My head.”

Word.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to track down some Advil and ginger ale. Better stock up.

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