Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The First Cut Is The Deepest

When I wrote this post yesterday, it was going to build on Sticks and Stones, a post more “global” than “it’s all about me.” So I wrote this post, I read and re-read it, and considered whether to post it after all. It seems that this one really is all about me and all these years later has more emotional content than a man of my years should admit to, which is why I must post it after all.


Last Pick
I have bared my soul over the last two and a half months on this Blog – infidelities, sex one cut above anonymous, fantasies one would not discuss at a dinner party, but I realize that I have not touched on the most difficult of things: I was the kid picked last for sports. Hell, when we played softball in grade school I had my own position – deep, deep, centerfield. (I am happy to report they never made me actually leave the school yard.)

You may be wondering why after forty years I am raising this today. I have read on the Blogs and in the MSM (main stream media - I always wanted to try those initials) about the autistic kid who had a great day on the basketball court, and I admit I was moved. I then read Ben’s moment of glory and I admit I was jealous.

The problem with a story like that – a true Disney moment – is that it does not represent the typical reality. Now I am not against Disney movements – another deep secret is that I tear up when they score the goal or smack that homer in those “silly” movies. But most days in real life the “water boy” does not sink the shots and does not get carried off on his/hers teammates shoulders.

I can write about this now – not easily I am discovering – but somewhere I have a sixth grade year book with a well meant inscription: “To my favorite deep centerfielder.” The thing is that I kept that book hidden well into my twenties for fear of having to explain what a deep centerfielder was.

So my hat is off to this kid – truly a well deserved moment of glory – but my heart is with all of those other kids who will never make the shot. In celebrating him, let’s not forget the others.

4 comments:

woe said...

That teared me up for sure. It just hit too close to home. No I don't talk about it. I always used to make a joke about being the last to get picked. It beat admiting to the pain.

Heres to the others.

Raven in NYC (aka Mark) said...

Same boat here about getting picked last and not being the star, but I did have my own successes. It inspired me to share mine.

Sean said...

Yeah, I imagine a lot of gay or bi guys have the "last person chosen" phenomenon in common. Count me in (pun intended). It was devastating, although I didn't admit it to myself at the time.

It seems that not establishing that "peer identity" is a biggie among us kind of guys. I have yet to determine if it is a causeor a result of gayness. I suspect that it is both. The spiral downward to low self esteem is both caused by alienation and, in turn, it causes more alienation. Maybe not all gays are plagued with low self esteem, but I have yet to meet one who isn't, in one way or another.

Ben said...

Nate, I agree wholeheartedly to remember the others. In fact, for many years, I was an other. My one moment of glory was surrounded by many failures, and many times of feeling horrible at the sport that I dearly loved. Fortunately, I have a few highlights that make me feel lucky to have enjoyed the sport so much.

*raise my glass to the others*