Friday, June 15, 2007

Too Easy

On Wednesday we closed the office at noon. Garbed in caps and T-shirts and slathered with lotion, we ambled to AT&T Park to watch the Giants take on the Toronto Blue Jays.

Office workers heaped plates with hotdogs and salad, and, in the spirit of the old ballgame, peanuts and cracker jacks. One of my lunch companions, a Vice President of Marketing, handed me her crackerjack prize, a colorful sticker: “Here, something to put on your pencil.” She was trying to goad me into saying something untoward, and in my less disciplined youth I might have responded. But I had to maintain my dignity in the presence of younger ears, so I just smiled blankly.

The temperature had climbed to 90 degrees when Giants rookie Tim Lincecum threw the first pitch. We vacated our seats and moved to the top rows where the awnings furnished cover. Beers and bottled water cooled us temporarily, but misery reasserted itself when Lincecum was bombed for seven runs and didn’t make it past the fifth inning. Most of my co-workers gave up and left early, chased away by the heat and the Giants’ desultory performance. Only six stalwarts (out of over 100) remained to witness the last out.

I stuck it out to the end because a) I hadn’t talked to the other five much this year and enjoyed the opportunity to chat; b) I always feel guilty when leaving early from "work"; c) the game is not over till the last out, and one never knows (the Giants scratched their way back to respectability and finally fell 7-4); and d) I had no plans to see any more games this year and decided to enjoy the ballpark’s ambience.

No joy: mighty Barry strikes out to end the game.

It was another day in the beautiful city and too easy to take for granted:
Because we don't know when we will die,
we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well.
Yet everything happens only
a certain number of times,
and a very small number really.
How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood,
some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive
of your life without it.
Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that.
How many more times will you watch the full moon rise?
Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
--Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

© 2007 Stephen Yuen

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