Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Margaret O'Flannery Ruined My LIfe

I've been an angel for about a year now, and over that time I've noticed some patterns emerge. I've talked about a few of them already, like the spike in depression over Valentine's Day and the sorrow drowning excuse that St Patrick's day provides. Now I've got some categories, and one that's especially prevalent in New York City is men age forty. It sounds like a demographic but what it really is is a trigger. Lots of men who hit forty feel like their god damn lives are over, like anything they haven't achieved to that point will never happen. This happens with both professional and personal goals. When I noticed this, I said to Archangel Michael, "We should form divisions, like have a Job Frustration Department and a Turning Forty Department."

"Oh, We tried that about 400 years ago. It was too structured, the angels didn't like visiting the same issues over and over again."

Makes sense. Nevertheless, my latest job can go in the Men Age Forty file. Ron, we'll call him, is forty, single, and lamenting a lost love. "I hadn't thought about her in years," he said, "then this guy at work asked me who I'd rather be with, a girl who's smart and ugly or hot and stupid. Right away I said, 'hot and stupid.' Then that reminded me of a girl I dated a few years after college. She was blond and beautiful, but she was also a summa cum laude at Columbia University."

"Brains and beauty," I said.

"Exactly. Great girl. She was perfect. But she was actually still in school at the time. She got a B on a paper and acted like it was my fault, like it was because she was spending too much time with me. Then I lost my job. It was a horrible job and it turned out to be a blessing, but at the time, I don't know. I was unemployed when I met her and she didn't care. But after a few months . . . I don't know, maybe she thought if her work was suffering, then it wasn't worth it to be with some unemployed shlub.

"You broke up?"

"Yeah, she dumped me. It was years ago, but I don't know. I'm still single, what if I was like, meant to be with her, and it got screwed up somehow, so now there's no one for me. You know what I mean?"

"That's an interesting theory," I said. "Don't think I buy it though. If there really was fate and destiny, we wouldn't have control over our futures. Look at it this way, if you had a destiny, it would have to come from somewhere, like from God, or some kind of supreme being. Do you think God would be so cruel as to condemn you to a life of misery because of some bad luck that happened fifteen years ago?"

"I guess not." He took a long pause and said, "If there is a God."

So his current state still left him with doubts about both himself and universe. Life can be hard on faith. But at least what I told him gave him hope that his soul mate was still out there somewhere. Michael told me there was no fate, so I felt good that my words were true. Then again, his problem made me feel relieved that I had someone to go home to. Is that ok?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forget Tony Danza, He's The Boss. And Fuck Bruce Springsteen Too

When I was a kid growing up in New York, local TV station WPIX channel 11 was know for five things: local news, old movies, reruns, after school cartoons, and of course, Yankee games. I would come home after after school, watch cartoons and see the ads for the games, and before long I started watching. That's how I became a Yankee fan. Mom and dad were Met fans and I later became the black sheep of the family. But it was their fault. They didn't watch baseball when I was was kid. They had their chance and they blew it. It was a great move on their part though; for all the things I had in my life to be miserable about, their indifference saved me from the sorrow of becoming a Met fan. Thanks mom and dad!

And so it saddens me to learn of George Steinbrenner's passing. I'm hoping I'll get the chance to meet him soon, though I'm sure there's millions of people waiting for their chance, so better let it wait.

"You're an angel," said Sashial. "You ought to go first."

"Doesn't make me better than any other fan," I said. "It wouldn't be fair."

She patted my cheek. "You're such a sweetheart."

Some might say he's actually going to Hell, but trust me, he's here. As tough as he was on people, his drive to win truly brought joy to millions of people. I'm not saying a little colateral damage is ok, but life is balance and you can never please anyone. How many people have you pissed off over your lifetime? I'm betting the ratio holds pretty close.

His drive and guidance brought seven championships. I didn't see all of them, in fact I waited most of lifetime to that point until I saw one, but in a lifetime of misery and dissapointment, to be responsible for one thing gone right that brought emotional euphoria to my life (or five things if you want to look at it that way), I will be eternally grateful. And don't tell me the 90's championships were set up when he was banned from baseball; those were the seeds, and he came back in 1993 and put the final pieces in place.

The Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard died this week too. "You think he announced George's arrival?" I asked Marley. "'Now dying . . . The Boss . . . George . . . Steinbrenner.'"

She gave me an amused smirk with a hint of surprise. "That's kind of morbid."

"Well I am dead," I said. "And you know I already had a morbid sense of humor.'"

She said, "I'm dead too, I don't mind. And I know this saddens you. I think the humor helps."

She always knows.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goin' Back To Cali, I Know So

Sashial wanted me to thank everyone who voted for Nick Swisher. As you can imagine, she's absolutely thrilled that he won the vote to become an All-Star.

"So where are we watching the game?" she asked.

"Let's go to Anaheim," I said. "It's an American League town, I think it'll nice to actually be cheering with crowd this time."

"Fuckin' A, let's rock that place! And I'm impressed with you too, wanting to embrace instead of hate."

"You think there might be hope for me after all?"

"I always knew there was hope for you, and you made the team. But now you're turning into an All-Star." She had kind of a proud glow when she said that.

"You goin' soft on me?" I asked.

"Shut the fuck up and get to work. There's a guy who just found out his crush is getting married."

"On it." Gotta run.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Swishalicious IS A Word. Because She Said So, That's Why.

"Sometimes it fucking sucks to be good." Not a surprising sentence coming from Sashial, but it still begged an explanation.

"You're not thinking of doing something bad, are you?" I asked, with confidence but caution.

She smirked and shook her head. "Don't be stupid, of course not. It just makes me mad. You know who my favorite Yankee is, don't you?"

Without taking a beat, I said, "Nick Swisher."

"Good boy. Now that he's in this final vote to make the All-Star team, it started me thinking. You can vote as many times as you want. If I wanted to, I could just create a computer and ring up a jillion votes. I could do it with a thought."

"And you're worried about the temptation?" I asked.

"Are you even fucking listening to me? No! The very idea of that is sickening. To bend the limits of fairness, how fucking greedy do you have to be? And some people live their lives that way. I just hate to think about it, you know?"

I know. Please vote for Nick Swisher. This is Sashial in a good mood. You don't want to see her angry.