As a youngster I used to dream about growing up to become the starting shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. I’d do fake play by play in the backyard and even sketch out pictures of me in a Cubs uniform winning the Cubs a World Series championship.
This was a 10th grade algebra test.
And it wasn’t just me who was obsessed with the Cubs. My dad would routinely take me out of school to see a day game at Wrigley. Here’s one of the notes he gave my homeroom teacher in 4th grade:
When I was 19 years old my Grandpa Earl, who I loved dearly, died of heart failure. Grandpa Earl was the most gentle, sincere, and loving man I’ve ever met. He taught me that caring for and treasuring the people in your life is the most important mission you have as a human. And he embodied that philosophy in everything he did over the course of his entire life. His funeral was on a balmy day in April right before a Cubs/Reds game. So I missed it. Here’s a picture of me from that day.
Marrying Stephanie, the love of my life, is the luckiest I have ever felt. Of course, Stephanie knew how much I love the Cubs going into our marriage and she even signed off on taking a fun picture with whole wedding party wearing Cubs hats.
I don’t have that picture but the day after our wedding, on the way to the airport for our honeymoon, our cab driver Nicholas
offered me a pair of box seat tickets right behind home plate in exchange for one night with my new wife. I took the tickets and went to the game with my dad. The Cubs and my dad…it was the greatest day of my life!
I haven’t seen Stephanie (or Nicholas) since. No regrets.
The annulment/multiple lawsuits that followed the end of my marriage really had me questioning where my life was headed. Not to mention it drained my bank account, got me fired from my job and estranged from my family and friends. And the voices in my head listing my life’s regrets refuse to leave me alone.
As a result I found a comfortable little nook under my couch to hide under and listen to Cubs games on the radio I stole from the library.
This is a pic of me ecstatic after hearing the news that we drafted top prospect, Kris Bryant! I’ll never forget where I was: Under a couch.
Eventually I sold that couch and got evicted from my apartment. But I still had my trusty old Cubs cap! So I tried to take up residence in my second home. The place where I, for all intents and purposes, spent my childhood: The friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Turns out they force you to leave after the game’s been over for an hour, though. The closest I could get to actually living at Wrigley Field is sleeping on a pile of wet cotton Halloween decoration cobwebs in the filthy toilet room of a disgusting Wrigleyville swillhouse.
Here’s me resting up for a doubleheader (and drinking Coors Light, currently my only source of calories). Go Cubs!
Needless, to say, this season has made everything I’ve gone through as a Cubs fan worth it. I decided that anything less than seeing every game of the World Series in person would be unacceptable. So I knifed a guy in a Greyhound station bathroom for his bus ticket to Cleveland.
Wish me luck and as the great Harry Caray would say “Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Nothing Else Matters….“