The Birth of Relations

She sits at the bar, the stool she sits upon rough and torn by years of abuse and minutes of faux cleaning. She gestures to the barman for another one, hoping this one may finally help her gather the courage she needs to try to speak to someone. She’s spent so long on her own, her constant fear of failure and rejection always present, always forcing her away from any attempts at conversation… from attempts at discovering community, discovering friendships and loves. She takes a small sip, she hates the taste, but the slight buzz it gives helps her build her confidence, helps her ignore the voices nagging at her, insisting she’ll fail and be rebuked. Her tumbling hair hugs her shoulders. Her shoulders are tight to her body, a habit she’s long developed to hide in plain sight, behind her own body. She wants to quickly scan the room. She wants to find a friendly face which will let her start something. She wants to start something.

She doesn’t look around, she can’t look around, she can only glance at the people down the bar, all engaged with each other. She can’t bring herself to leave, although she wants to. No, she can’t let herself leave, she’s resolute that she will do what she came for. She will find someone, someone who will help feel less lonely, someone who will help her ignore the voices, the sounds which tell her to hide. Her eyes are a dark green, a deep green which harbours her thoughts, they almost seem to swirl a darker black colour when she furrows her brow. Her flannel shirt runs down, even below the stool itself, acting more as a cape than a shirt, guarding her legs and her body from the cold of the door. She wants to say something at least to the barman, her drink is not low though, and she knows she’ll just once again gesture for more, to scared to dare let noise come from her mouth, for fear of stumbling, of falling over. She wants to tr

“Why don’t your try opening your body out a bit sweetie?”

“It might encourage people to try and come talk to you, so you don’t have to sit lonely at the bar.”

“You don’t have to be walled up and slouched all the time.”

“You’re not the most talkative are you?”

“Why not just turn and look at me sweetie, I don’t bite.”

She turned and saw a friendly half smile on the small girl’s face. She felt a surge of shyness and fear overcome her. Her body and mind insisted she turn away, she look back at her drink or the bar. She never found the source of that crack after all.

The girls smile grew larger as she kept looking.

“I’m Ashley, I’d love to learn your name, or ya know, you could just keep looking at me and I’ll try and guess it.” Ashley’s eyes became wider as Ashley spoke. Ashley just stared at her, almost daring her to say something back, to try and begin the interaction for herself.

“I’m Rachel.”

“Well hi Rachel, I hope I didn’t bother you. I mean it’s not like I could have bothered much, unless you were looking for the source of that crack, but, I mean, who would do that.”

Rachel blushed…

“It’s actually like two stools down by the way, you were getting close, but that guy would have blocked you off anyway. Hope I didn’t spoil it”

Rachel snorted a little, feeling more at ease the more the small girl engaged and spoke to her.

“I do see that, but, I think you’ll find the source is somewhere over the bar there, the crack only gets smaller from that bit” She pointed where Ashley had claimed “and then grows larger along the bar. The source is gonna be where the crack is the biggest.”

“OK, but, you seem to be ignoring the fact it could have been a really small knife jammed into the bar there, and then everyone who expanded the crack just used bigger knives.”

Rachel just stared at her.

“Listen, you’d be surprised how many bars have an open crack night, I mean I alone have added at least a foot to that crack, and I’ve always enlarged my tool as I got farther down. I started with a cleaver… You don’t know where I could get a broad sword do you?’

Rachel laughed a bit now, Ashley’s blue eyes inviting her to enjoy the comedy of her statement, confident she’d be getting the right response.

“I mean, I can’t argue with that. But I can help you with the broadsw-

The voices didn’t leave entirely, the sounds didn’t wane totally.

The glass of liquid never left the bar.

And the liquid never ended up leaving the glass.

*I hope you were able to enjoy this little story I’ve worked on as my grand return. I’m hoping I’ll be better now at getting writing pieces out at a frequency of greater than one a year. My sincerest apologies for that. Please leave any comments below, and feel free to contact me via the details left in the contact page. Thank you for reading.


Thoughts Following MLB’s Opening Week.

Well baseball has returned for a new season, and thus I have some thoughts I’d like to convey, for my opinions to be better understood for the following season. So following are some of my opinions from this, the first week of the 2017 MLB season.

1.    So this offseason was kinda boring right? Last offseason felt like it was way more interesting. On my front (being a Yanks fan) last season had a lot more trades to break down and analyse, and obviously the free agent class was a whole lot better. With a worse free agent class this year it felt certain we would see a number of blockbuster moves, but really the only one we got was the Moncada – Sale deal and maybe the Adam Eaton trade, but that doesn’t really feel like it counts. We got tricked into thinking maybe McCutchen or Quintana (not trading him still does not make sense to me) trades were coming, but they turned out to be almost cruel trick by the Sox and Pirates. All the free agents, except for the Desmond deal (although I shoulda bet on the Rockies doing something stupid.), went to somewhere that made sense. Along with that we didn’t get any laughable trades like last offseason’s Miller or Kimbrel trades. OK, maybe the Kimbrel trade wasn’t that bad, but I mean come on, Margot and Guerra and others for A RELIEVER, that won’t look great when you add up the wins in 6-8 years. Also we had the Giles and Chapman trades, and the Price, Heyward and Upton deals. Anyway, offseason rant over.

2.    I think (well know) that I may have fallen in irrational love with Ronald Torreyes, he shouldn’t be more than a backup in future but he is so much damn fun to watch. From simply the best HR celebrations:

to his at bats immediately after the 6 foot 7 Judge that just has to confuse the hell out of the pitcher. Also it feels like total poetic justice that he would hit the first Yankee HR of the season.

3.    CC has been awesome, he has totally reinvented himself since 2015 and it is so much fun to watch him carve up the Rays for five straight innings and then pitch admirably against a very talented Orioles line up. I think he will definitely come out of this season as the Yank’s strong number 2 pitcher with a low 4, high 3 ERA and being the awesome coach he is to the kids in the rotation. I just hope he pitches well enough to get another 1 year contract with the Yanks next year, and try to get win 250.

4.    Am I the only one petrified watching Noah Syndergaard pitch. Don’t get me wrong he is still totally awesome and just amazing to watch, but I am just waiting for that one 100 mph sinker that takes the rest of his arm with it. The hitter would probably still whiff though. I mean honestly, the guy is unnatural, and when he had to come out on opening day I was legit terrified that it was more than a finger. In any case he is just insane to watch, and clearly the right kinda player for baseball’s future, but when he throws constantly over 98 for 7 or 8 innings it feels inevitable that his elbow will break, plus he’s on the Met’s so just me saying this will cause a Tommy John outbreak in their rotation.

5.    Can we all just agree that Bumgarner is the second coming of Babe Ruth, he is definitely the number one batting pitcher in MLB, and we’ll see what Otani’s real skill with the bat is when he comes over at some point. I’m still cracking up over his response to Brandon Belt overtaking him on homers in the season: ‘It’s OK. I play tomorrow’. He is probably my favourite pitcher not on the Yanks and I would not be surprised if he drags the Giants kicking and screaming to a NL West victory.

Anyway, I hope this was useful for you to build a bit of knowledge around my baseball thoughts, and my surrounding opinions. I promise the next baseball piece will be less of me revealing my feelings about the sport, or explaining my origins.


A Disconnected Globe.

*Swift explanation here, when I struggle to come up with cohesive, thought out, intriguing articles or mindless drivel, which ever you prefer to describe my work, I will instead do a disconnected creative project, that may or may not be connected to other works. Bear with me as I am working on other things, but until then, enjoy this. This is a work written a while ago, thus I am plagiarising past Sebastian, I know he would be disappointed.

I yawned, and quickly feigned attention towards the glowering man in front of me. His uniform the average color of navy blue- a color of consistency on earth. I watched him pace around the black-board like one of the World Guard would in front of the President’s Palace. He bent out his legs, letting us hear the click of his knee as it stretches out to let him launch across the length of the blackboard.
“Thus why the world fell upon its knees and we must constantly remind ourselves not be as power hungry and totalitarian as the nations of the past, but continue to be the United Nation of today and lead a life-” He gets cut off mid sentence by the ringing of the bell, just like it would be doing the other side of the world. The other side of the world, where its 3 in the darkness hours. The other side of the world, where they dress the same, talk the same, think the same, are the same as us.
“Listen children your dormitory work will be in rooms waiting for you to complete and bring to me tomorrow at 3 in lightness hours once again.”
I collect my books, which I had sprawled across my single desk. I shove them into the uniform satchel at the same time as everyone, just like everyone, and pace my way out the door. I close my eyes and let out a long breath. Faking attention is almost as hard as actually paying that man attention. Another teacher strolls past me, just the same way every other teacher does. I look out for the corridor that leads to my dorm: which I almost always walk past. I follow the white pain of the walls, each white patch exactly the same, so the whole wall was a perfect white without imperfection- all the same.
I stop, realizing that, somehow, I had past the corridor I always pass. I turn back, hugging my shoulders with my hands, allowing them to share warmth, I don’t really do it for that reasons- I just want to be different- separate from the single person every human is and, for a reason unbeknown to me, enjoy being. You see there is no individuality, there is only one human, but there are millions of them. I turn into the corridor, once again admiring the perfection of the constant white- always the same as the rest of the white corridor, never a shade whiter nor a bit less perfect. I look down at my uniform black shoes- a complete contrast to the white paneled flooring that once again never changed from the same monotonous color of perfect white and a dull grey separation. I hear a click of heels, a click of heels so uniform, so perfect, that its almost completely obvious that it has been pre-planned, pre-planned by someone who was so certain that they would achieve whatever it was they had wanted to achieve that the actually practised that heel click until it came out perfect.
I stop, stand in front of the same door I always stand in front of. Its so uniform- the same perfect white with silver numbers saying 27. I stare at it, hoping, wishing something was wrong, different, something that broke the rules, differed to the rules of our world. I sighed, knowing from the start my search was definitely futile. I pushed open the door, seeing Peter lying on the bed, stomach down, finishing the work he’d been set. Thats the difference between us, he likes it: the order, the repetivity, the cleanness of it all, but I don’t. We get along anyway, even if our views on life were almost exactly opposite.
“Hey” I mutter, only receiving a grunt in return. He raises his head finally acknowledging my existence. He slowly moves his eyes from his own work to me, staring.
“You took your time, I’ve been here for 5 minutes already. You miss the corridor again?” I nodded, glad he had bothered to speak.
“Got the same lecture from Reages on how we shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of our forefathers.”
“It’s true though, you realise? They ruined the world and then ran away to space- how is that not a mistake?”
“You’re almost as bad as him, you know? I just don’t know how you like this all?”
“We are going the right way, would you just accept that please.” That’s how he ended the conversation, I didn’t object though: I didn’t want to ruin the one friendship I had. I walked up to the blonde, simple desk once again simple, but thankfully not perfect, and all the same, all without cracks or marks, all the same. I pick up the leaflet with 3 simple words “27 Dorm Work” I flipped it open, read the instructions and started my essay.
I pulled off my blankets, allowing my eyes to take in the sun, which just shone through the curtain. I smiled, actually feeling the sun on my face for the first time in many weeks. The deep snow glistened, but didn’t melt so I pulled on my jacket, as always black with no exception. A note lay on the doorknob, resting, waiting for me to read and fulfill its purpose. I followed each word, describing to me exactly what my roommate and friend had to say- why he left early, without telling or warning me: to see the head of the school.
I watched the ball of paper as it spiralled down into the waiting anxious bin. I opened the same white door, walked outside, followed the same hallway and went into the same classroom.
At least, you would think it the same, but its a different classroom, exactly the same as every other bar the silver “History 4” on the door, just above the wired window. I walked up to my desk, which like in every classroom was number 6 in a semicircle of 20. The desks seemed to bend and form a cage around the teachers area, where the backboard, office and teacher was kept. It also allowed the teacher around 6 or 7 metres squared of walking and talking space. My current teacher (young, at a age I predict to be around 31 or 32) darted his eyes around his classroom, inspecting each of us, making sure each of were, not perfect, but the same.
At last he spoke.
“Welcome class, today, as I’m sure you know, is VFE day. In 1918 we invented Remembrance Day, in 1945 we invented VE and VJ Day. However, in 2133 we invented VFE Day, the day the 33 year war of worlds ended. Today we will go back to that Tuesday. It was 14th of April, 2133 when Russia finally succumbed to the forces of the UNE, and on the same day of final victory came horror. Two hours before they were set to evacuate the last of their people the US launched an atom bomb which shaped the world of today. That bomb landed on the heart of the UNE: Berlin.” Nobody stopped listening except me. The fact that all my classmates could still be so interested in all this right now was entirely disappointing to me.
After what had felt like 10 minutes, the same ringing bell rang, luckily our teacher managed to finish his lecture on time. We had learnt all about the end of the war and the events that had followed the fall of Berlin.
I walked down the hall, listening to the tip tap of shoes bouncing off the drum of floor. I had learnt a while ago that the floor had built so that one could be heard if they were trying to escape. It was obvious, the metallic drum was sounded every single time a padded leather foot struck the seemingly plastic floor. That was another thing that was always the same. Everywhere, the exact same noise comes out your shoes when the you touch the floor as it would if you were the opposite side of the building. I turned swiftly, swiveling on the back of my heel, as though I was on some freshly oiled floor. My head swung round- making my momentarily dizzy. The walked began to slope downwards, subtly, yet noticeable, the color of the perfect white walls seemed to doze off their perfection and turn a slight grey color. Many students argued that it should be painted, made just the same as the rest. The same as it all.
I finally reached the end of the hall. I stared deeply at the door, an assembly had been called, an assembly for a life-changing event. I had rolled my eyes at that announcement, we are constantly called for assembly for reasons virtually irrelevant. Eventually I swung open the door, frozen as I saw each head turn towards me. They were all puzzled, confused on why anyone would be insane enough to go down the corridor I had just walked down. It was just too much of an insanity to be considered a possibility to the children I spent my days with.
I sat down quickly- not wishing to draw any more attention to myself then I had already done. I closed my eyes, allowing myself to breath out all the pent up air I had.
“Students, Colleagues, Friends, I stand before you the bearer of good news. I stand here telling you that a Free Country has finally fallen, succombed to the power of the United Nation. The City of Lagos has fallen after some months of siege. We shall have a free day on the 17th so you may do as you please. Also the year end is coming so last years need to choose their future-”
I tuned out, choosing rather than hearing the life changing news of the City of Lagos, but instead listening to the rhythms in my head. I felt the tension rising in the crowd, as though they were having their future told to them and it was looking grim. I knew what he was saying by the look on my fellow students’ face. The slow pounding “thump” in my head was warning me of the coming headache. I felt the strength that my eyesight gave me slowly wane. My head was a pounding of boredom and pain, but worse still I had no idea what was happening.
I felt my ability to hear, smell, touch all leave. My entire body seemed to collapse into a spasm of loss. “Copy, copy, copy” drilled repeatedly in my brain, wanting me to listen, to follow orders. I feel my body give way. Go rigid. All at the same time. My body was using no muscles, yet was sitting straight as a pencil.
Then, as fast as it came, it left. I moved my thoughts around my brain, attempting to discover the answer to what I had just experienced. Trying to explain why I had just fallen apart.
The speech came to end, leaving me with the walk back to the room to ponder on what I had just gone through. I felt my way to the door, choosing to focus on one sense instead of all of them. My hand smashed the door open, allowing me to whimper my way out. I felt light bare down on my shoulder as I walked through the large doors. I followed the sounds of steps to my dorm, managing not to miss the hall this time. Unfortunately I overshot the door, finding myself in front of door 31.
I got back into my room. My experience in the hall still echoing through my head. I couldn’t take it, I lay to rest. I tried to sleep, hours upon hours of trying and failing until suddenly I realised I was in a dream. There was one thing I did not realise though, I was too focused on myself to realise. Too stupid to think about the one little thing. Peter was gone.

Why Baseball?

This is, I hope, the first of a series of writings I will do on baseball, and most of the ones I have intended to do will be much more an analysis of the game itself than this, which is supposed to be an explanation of my interest and an exploration on the formation of interest in Sport.

When ever I am asked why it is I am so into baseball, and spend the time I do on it I give the simple answer, that was the sport I most enjoyed playing as a child, and therefore why I still display a love for it today. This is not the full story, there are in fact a smattering of factors all of which contribute to the development of it to the point of my favorite hobby.

The first baseball related thing I remember is my grandfather watching it when I would visit. He was a Mets fan, and most of my memories of him are watching with him, not really sure what was happening, but feeling the tension nonetheless of every hit ball, or swinging strikeout. My most vivid memory is of the score being something like 5 or 6 to 4 or so, with two men on base and someone I did not know at bat. It was a later stage, maybe the top of the seventh, and I watch with glee and awe as this nameless, faceless human being laced a ball into the outfield, except that wasn’t the ball, that was a piece of the bat, the ball had actually bobbled out of the infield and into the right fielder’s mitt for a 2 rbi single. This was hit that tied up the score, and had me amazed for how crazy the game could be, a bat could be broken but the ball could still wriggle it’s way into a hit somehow.

When I was 6 or 7 I got a book written by some guy called Jorge Posada who I guess was a baseball player that was about baseball. As a child I loved it, and it only compounded my growing interest in baseball, as I found out you could bat lefty or righty, and about this team called the Yankee’s who piqued my attention. Now I should use this moment to explain that, yes, somehow with a grandfather who was a Mets fan I became a Yankee fan, despite only ever watching the Mets and the only other real baseball influence me being a fan of the Mets. Then again just watching the Mets is probably enough to push away an impressionable young fan, still finding out their options.

Then, as a 6/7 year old I joined my first proper team, around where I lived, with a bunch of the kids in my school, and to my shock this was a rare sport that I, perhaps not excelled, but certainly did well, slotting into the 3 spot and getting moved around the infield and outfield as the coach tried to find the best positions for some kids who were better at booting the ball in the air than actually catching. Perhaps even more important than my own ability at the sport though, was the fact our team went unbeaten for the season, and that I played all but one of the games. It was ridiculous fun smashing the ball and running the bases, and mucking around with friends when we were supposed to be ‘fielding’.

My interest sadly waned as I moved to England, where there was no reporting of baseball and for a long time I had not baseball influence. It started to creep back into my life at age 11 or 12 when a girl joined our school who was a Giant’s fan, really hard to talk to after their second WS by the way though. I then also found out about and joined a baseball league in London which was when most my knowledge about the actual game of baseball was developed, and allowed me to build up more and more of an enjoyment and slow dependency on the game. This for the longest time though was the extent of my baseball interest until about 3 years ago, where I followed, confused, the end of the Yankee’s 2014 season. I found out that that guy who had written that book was actually Jorge Posada, the long time Yankee Catcher and DH, who also could mash a few HR. As well as that I discovered the stat side of baseball. That discovery is why I spend so much time obsessing over baseball, as I learn more and more about the stats and sabermetrical developments going on in the game. I am now avidly waiting for the new season in 2017, and more importantly, really enjoying the WBC, although sad now the Netherlands have left.

So, this I hope has made it a bit clearer sport interest and jubilation comes from.

On Fatherhood

I had to wait outside, outside alone, while she was coming. I had to be outside, alone with my thoughts, while she was fighting out. I won’t be outside, while she performs her miracles.

She stands on those minuscule baby feet, with miniature baby toes and a cheeky smile engulfing her face. An oversized bear is being dragged behind her as she stomps around, it too practicing it’s discovery of the joy of walking. She laughs, strange hiccupy laughs as she wobbles around, the eyes, which were her mothers, glint with the euphoria of discovery, of successful curiosity.

She lies in the snow, failing miserably at creating an angel. Her rapidly growing hair swiftly blinding her vision for brief seconds before being shifted out of the way. Her hands, covered in red mittens, clutch at the white fluff, combining it, creating a new, far larger compound of resources which she morphs into a crude ball. She briefly throws it away, before returning her attention to the hole that is supposed to be an angel.

She looks up at me, sweet button nose sniffing the air to check there are no goodies being hidden from her. Her recently cut hair straddling the pillow, stopping just before her shoulders. Her eyes slowly close, bored and done with listening to whatever garbage story I was reading. She lay completely calm, not quite still, but rested, peaceful and cosy in her vastly oversized bed.

She releases the ball, hard, right at her mom. It performs a perfect arc and lands easy in her mothers hand. She giggles in delight and yells at her mother to throw it back. The catching is her favourite part. She watches the ball’s release intently, observes its curve, backing up slowly. Then, as it gets closer, she retreats suddenly and just as the ball looks beyond catching she dives down covering barely a foot, and snatches the ball just before it reaches the cool earth. The dive is pointless. But, she insists, it makes sure the ball is in her hands.

She lies next to me, snuggling between myself and her mother. I play with a strand of her hair, rolling it around in my fingers. She’s perfect, a trait purely from her mother. She snores lightly, her chest rising and collapsing in unison with the sound. Her hands clutch at the couch, her feet push up against her mom. Her face is cradled in my arms. Her angel face is cradled in my arms. Her face is cradled in my arms.

She’s cradled in my arms. Tiny miniature, perfectly asleep, just like her mother. I smile down at her. I promise her, I promise her I will never be outside again. I promise her, I promise her, I promise her I will make mistakes, but I will never be outside again.

Missed Connections

Allow me to preface by insisting this is not a story about missed chances at love. It is not intended to be, despite it’s appearance as one. Instead this is more of a case study, something to explore the tragedy of failed acquaintanceship.

The story starts at 5:20, normally an inconsequential time, but now somewhat important as I was not on a bus home as I should have been, now important as my tardiness would lead me to have to take an alternate route home, at a slightly later time. At 5:20, as opposed to being sat in a bus, whiling away the time I can afford to squander, I was stood in line for a different one, this one was significantly smaller, and it’s route significantly longer. It was until a minute or two later that I first saw her, quite cute, with tumbling red hair and with clear eyes staring down at the sidewalk. I looked away, not taking anymore glances as I assumed this was all I would ever think of her again, simply a pretty girl on the bus. I boarded the bus.

She chose to sit a few a seats ahead of me, such that I couldn’t really see her as she leaned into the seat. Then, surprisingly, she chose to move seats soon after sitting, she moved so that she was directly opposite me, so that we were in different rows, but right next to each other. This was the first thing that hinted to me perhaps she was interested in opening conversation with me. Then just a few seconds after she had sat down she was staring intently at me, which I responded to by meeting her gaze. After a few moments of two strangers peering at each other, she smiled shyly and turned away, facing the window. Once again I chose to ignore this as simply accidental.

As the bus began turning out of the station, I turned and looked at her, and soon once again we were meeting each others eyes and exploring what was hidden behind. I concluded she might be somewhat interested in at the very least getting to know me, but chose to leave it for a little bit, just so I could look back later and be certain that she was in fact looking at me. It wasn’t until after the next stop, as the bus started to fill up, that I chose to look over again. I really wanted to be certain that she was just as intrigued as me and hoped silently that she would meet my gaze. She did, and held it for the longer than the other times. My mind decided that I would try and move over to speak to her, I began to procrastinate over what to say and how I would be received. This is where my mistake was made, as opposed to being brave and speaking to her my nervousness and timid nature began giving my doubt of her interest, I went from certain to unsure swiftly, and soon was debating in my head how I would start the conversation. It was this procrastination that caused the missing of the connection, as I sat debating, we stopped again and a women got on, a women who chose to sit in the seat that I would have to in order to engage conversation. My chances of ever speaking to this girl had gone from decent to embarrassingly dismal.

To my dismay she did in fact get off the bus, casually looking back at me as she got out, only compounding my frustration. Now, I don’t want this to be looked on as a failed love story, or that I am pining after this girl, although there is a non-zero chance that is precisely what I am doing. I want to use this to explore human relations and their formations. It was so rare for me to be in such a situation that I somewhat panicked, and failed to achieve anything meaningful out of the events. It is intriguing to me that the majority of the people I know are either people who I have been to school with, worked with, or grown up alongside. In fact the only other meaningful relationship I have had with someone I met outside of school or work was with someone I met taking a sailing course. It is a tragedy of failed exploration or curiosity and my inability to simply engage with this girl haunts me. Not as much that she may have been a lover, but simply that she was another human being with a personality and interests that may have aligned or at the very least intersected occasionally with my own.

In my opinion it is a tragedy of human interaction that we have made up social norms and expectations that almost hinder social interaction. Or maybe this is all pointless drivel I have invented in my head to compensate for my immense timidity and fear of unprovoked interaction. Either way hopefully this story does in fact act as a case study towards the value of approaching people, and attempting interactions. Who knows what we could be missing out on.