It has been a while since I’ve published a piece like this. If you are a new reader you might not know but in the past I put out a couple pieces that were partially written by an Artificial Intelligence Neural Network. But I found another one of these Artificial Intelligences and I used to fill in the blanks between my words. The stuff I wrote is not bolded while the stuff the AI wrote is bolded. It’s always interesting seeing what the AI writes and what source material it seems to pull from. Anyway, I hope you like this piece. I won’t be publishing these all the time, but I do have fun with them so let me know if you like it and I might consider doing more of this in the future. Enjoy!
My parents always warned me about chasing the sun. I didn’t literally chase it but I might as well have. I always had an adventurous spirit. I never wanted to stay still. There was so much out there and I wanted to experience as much as I could. I wanted to see and do as many things as I possibly could.
In my final years at school I spent most of my time studying. One day my dad came into my room while I was working and told me that he thought I had wasted my life. I was 19 years old at the time and he couldn’t believe that I was still in school. I told him that I felt like I was, in a way. I was learning about the world. The plants and animals, the way ecosystems worked and how things seemed to live in harmony. Biology is something that I actually took an interest in despite the fact that I barely paid attention in any of my high school science classes. I was always someone who excelled in math and history. Not science. But something changed when I went to college, I think. I started to get what the big deal was about scientific discovery.
It was a recurring theme in pop culture that television was in some ways the anti-science movement. The X-Files, for instance, was like a science-fiction cartoon version of the Scopes trial. Science fiction was always telling us about the relationship between human and artificial intelligence, or the idea that science is this everchanging set of facts and theories. Sure we could look at the way history and culture bound us as a society, but science and it’s laws had as much of an effect on us. Everyone was affected by gravity. But yet there were some of us that dreamed about flying through the clouds or using our high-tech flying cars to fly from our future job to our future home where our robot housekeeper would do all our future chores.
Anyway my love of science was really one part of how I changed in college. The other part was that I began to realize that this old sport of baseball was very American, in a way. It was a new America, and it was a new world. In this new America, there were rules against drunk driving, and against smoking. So when I grew up, baseball was a liberal icon. When I was a kid, it was just a sport. Now it became a symbol of America itself. There was a deep history to Baseball that I never realized when I was just a boy playing it. I was shielded not only from the local politics but the nation-wide struggles as well.
Some people will see Baseball players or any athlete taking a stance on something and they’ll be dismissive.
“Just stick to playing the game,” They’ll say. “Stay out of politics.”
But what a ridiculous thing to say. Stay out of politics? The man on a bike will talk about politics at every opportunity, because politics is what makes people smile and be nice to each other, not make them shake in their boots. Politics isn’t just what you have to say on the big, hot button issues. It’s how you view yourself and your place in the world. It’s how you view the community and the people that are in it. It determines what you think we should strive for as a society. What you want the world to look like for your children and your children’s children. Politics is the currency of public life.
Like it or not, public life includes Baseball players. It includes actors playing Science Fiction heroes on television. It includes teachers who are trying to teach scientific theory in their classrooms. It includes college students who are voting for the first time and others who are off traveling the world, trying to soak in as much of the world as possible.
I couldn’t separate myself from the rich history of baseball just like I couldn’t break away from my convictions, but I didn’t always stick to them as far as I’d have liked, and I’ve certainly been tempted.
In some ways, I do have a double-life. But you might not be able to see that as well if you’re not close to me and able to see the things I think about and want to talk about. I’m very vulnerable to other people. I’m very human. When I’m outside of baseball and in an environment where no one knows me or my history, I don’t know how to act. Do I just stand there playing it cool, just waiting for them to realize who I am? Or do I just get it over with. Do I just blurt it out and see how they react?
And what if they don’t recognize me even after I tell them who I am? Oh god, I remember this one time when I was at the bar and I just told this girl I just met who I was. She gave me this look like she couldn’t care less. She didn’t recognize my name or my face. Then I tried to explain to her who I was and she still didn’t care. She said that, yes, she knew who I was, but that she just didn’t remember me. I said I think you just aren’t remembering me because I am not good looking enough.
What am I doing wrong? What if I go to a social event and I go to the bar and I try to go up to someone and say something to them and they don’t even realize I’m there? What if I try to introduce myself to them and I just make a fool of myself. These very human things happen to me. But then there’s this level of notoriety of it too. Like I’m supposed to be good at being charming or whatever just because I play baseball.
I know it just sounds like some rich guy problems. Yeah I’m famous and that’s hard or whatever. But I don’t say this because I want sympathy. I know how good I have it. I say it because sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I took science more seriously in college. If I didn’t play baseball. Would I be out there currying a disease or proving some groundbreaking research? Or would I still be in a bar having trouble with the ladies?
Just something to think about I guess.
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