The day after the All-Star Game, it felt like I had entered Bizarro World.
Even if you’re not a certified geek like me (nobody’s perfect), you’ve probably heard of Bizarro World, the Superman setting where everything is ridiculously reversed. Bizarro World’s residents put curtains outside their windows. Their greatest celebrities are hideously ugly. And of course their Superman equivalent, the clumsy and Frankenstein-ish Bizarro himself, gains power from Green Kryptonite and has a penetrating gaze that can ONLY see through lead.
So when our own Elias Díaz became the All-Star MVP with a game-winning home run – the first of the Rockies ever to win the honor – the fan reaction would have made Bizarro feel right at home.
“Well, it’s been nice knowing him.”
“Yeah, he ought to get traded any day now.”
Mind you, I get it. It’s been a long, long, LONG time since the glory days of Rocktober in 2007. The current ownership has pretty much dedicated itself to the pursuit of mediocrity … and then not even taken the steps to secure that. Stars get cut or traded before they become expensive, endless streaks of losing are tolerated as long as Coors Field keeps filling up and a .500 record is treated as aspirational to the point of being unrealistic.
Rebuilding years get bad, I know. But this isn’t rebuilding. This is marking time. To steal a quip from Abraham Lincoln, if the Monforts don’t want to use the Rockies, would they mind letting someone else borrow them for a while?
But while they’re dithering, let’s not let them steal our joy. However brief it may prove.
I have a little experience there.
If you’re a regular reader here, you know that my wife Heather has just a few medical issues. Which is kind of like saying that Hollywood has just a few people on strike right now. We’re talking good stuff like Crohn’s disease. Or MS. Or ankylosing spondylitis. And often, some special guest star that we struggle to identify at all.
Draining? Yes. Discouraging? Sure. There have been a lot of grinding days where we’ve both felt like we’re walking to the North Pole while trying to drag Pike’s Peak with us. The next moment can never really be counted on and every plan has a just-in-case contingency.
But here’s the thing. It’s not unrelieved gray. Somehow, some way, sunlight does sneak in. And we’ve learned to treasure it for however long it lasts.
It might be laughter at a silly joke or horrid pun. Or a “what the heck?” moment in the Chinese action melodramas Heather loves. It could be a moment of peace in the mountains or a cheer from Missy at getting to help us wash dishes. (Yes, our Missy celebrates dish washing – I told you this was Bizarro World.)
Whatever the form it takes, joy finds a way in. And when that happens, there’s nothing wrong with holding it if you can.
It’s not easy, I know. On a grand scale, it sometimes even sounds a little frivolous. “How can you enjoy (x) when (y) is going on?” But the mind can attend to a number of different things. And while I never want to be the one fiddling while Rome burns to the ground, I also don’t want to be a grim soul who’s closed himself off to anything but pain.
So yes. Celebrate the good when it comes, however small it might be. Touch the joy. Feel the now, no matter what tomorrow holds.
And if someday it holds a change of ownership for the Colorado Rockies, maybe we can all rejoice a little more.
Bizarro? Maybe. But you’ve got to start somewhere.