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“Coping with the Loss of Sports the Only Way I Know”


I heard “American Pie” again today on the radio. Now, this is kind of a checkered topic, for me, because I think just two weeks ago or so I made this status update on Facebook that was like “I think the world is ready for a shortened version of ‘American Pie.’”

The funny thing is, I heard it today, and I wasn’t sick of it. In fact, I was viscerally climbing into that part about “I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck”, like I used to do even before I was a teenager (truth be told I have legitimate memories of being like five years old and hearing this song on the radio and even internalizing it)… eh I mean maybe I’ll stop calling for the abridged version but stranger ideas have been broached, suffice it to say.

And maybe it’s true in some narcissistic way that I was pretty screwed when the music died but when sports died, I wasn’t exactly Tyler Fu**ing Perry either. In general, it hasn’t been too bad, but just earlier this winter I’d made the observation while watching the Michigan-Michigan St. basketball game that just watching college basketball noticeably puts me in a better mood and it’s something you can do that doesn’t depend on substances or the misfortune of others or anything.

Lately it’s been baseball I miss the most and just yesterday I got done mowing the lawn on my day off and was chilling outside, just doing nothing when it was about 88 degrees and breezy out. For some reason I started thinking about Bob Dylan — I think I was thinking about the lines “I wish I could write you a melody so plain / To stop you dear lady from going insane”. I looked to a song from that same album, “From a Buick 6,” as such an antidote indeed (I am a guy for the record but I’m being loose with my pronouns for anatomical purposes, the anatomy of the text, I mean), especially for the line “I need a dump truck baby / To unload my head”, which I imagine is a pretty common malady within this crazy new time of coronavirus.

But maybe they’re just used to it. It’s like when time passes. It’s like when your sun grows up on that astrological cusp that’s just obstinately creative, obstinately particular, like I don’t know maybe a Virgo, and he insists on starting this band The Wallflowers and taking two years to record this album Bringing down the Horse, and you don’t know how it’s going to be received but more importantly you don’t know how GOOD it’s going to be, you don’t know if your son has truly absorbed the fountain of rock and roll like a fat, bleeding sun in the sky that’s eternally generous and benevolent, like you have, but then it’s not everyday a song like “Three Marlenas” comes along, either. And then Bob Dylan started distilling that whisky. And nothing is complete, still — the cosmos show the face of death and heart laceration as vividly and stridently as ever, with each turn of the planet.

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