October 07, 2004

bah humbug autumn

That's what my friend said. Bah humbug autumn. His reason is a little different than mine. For him, he spent all spring and summer remodeling his home and feels cheated. He never noticed the tulips and now, on the cold breezes of the east coast, autumn is crashing on the shores. He wants a long Texas summer day back to enjoy on his new Delaware deck. He's not ready for mums, he said, he's coaxing the last blooms out of the geraniums.

I'm not ready for the coldness of autumn either. It's the silence I can't stand. The silence of my team no longer in the playoffs for the World Series. I can't put on that uniform and ball cap and protect those tiny little tickets as we walk to the ballpark. I can't joke with the vendor who sells those incredible elephant ears and munch on their cinaminy softness during the first innings. I can't incite the breathless screaming of a stand-up triple, a sliding catch in the outfield or a fiery slider for a strike across homeplate. No, the hated Dodgers took out my Giants in a move that shall not be forgiven. While the colors of autumn start striking around me, I miss black and orange. Especially those fans in converse shoes -- one black and one orange. I don't want to see orange leaves, I want to see orange people. They teased me into hoping the wild card -- even the division win was possible. Nope. Nada.

I feel cheated. Not out of the glory of summer. I saw Barry's home runs. Noah Lowery break into the big show with 6 wins and no losses. Schmidt's dominance. Pedro Feliz's grandslam and Alfonzo's 5 for 5 hits in a game. I saw the wrong end of too many double plays -- but it was baseball. And my team was playing. And somehow, it just isn't autumn without them. When they won their last game of the year at Dodger stadium 10 to nothing, the joy was as soundless as a autumn leaf crashing to the earth. It doesn't matter what color that leaf is, it isn't black and orange.