I feel old.
And I'm not old, and I'm aware of the fact that I'm not old, and if someone ever said I was old I would protest the accusation. But I feel old. Or, better put, I am aware that I am getting older
. And I blame Bartolo Colon for this.
I've always been nostalgic for earlier periods of my life. I wish I was still in college. In college, I wished I was still in high school. In high school, I wished I was still in grade school. Most sports teams I played on I wished I was still on my old team. Before I moved to Los Angeles, I lived in New York City. Right now I wish I lived in New York City, even though I hated New York City while I lived there
. The whole time I was there I wished I was still in college. And the whole time, including right now, right this second, I wish I was in 8th grade because 8th grade was nothing but street hockey all day after school and all weekend. That is all I want.
And it's a fact that this past summer I witnessed 8 pairs of my friends get married, and a few weeks ago I attended my friends' son's first birthday party, and this weekend I am going to a co-ed baby shower. And while on some level I kind of hate my friends for moving on with their lives, leaving me to drink alone at the bar down the street, these are not the things that make me feel old. Rather, Bartolo Colon has me feeling old.
Why? Because today he won the American League Cy Young Award, and while reading on online article about his achievement, it dawned on me that I will never, ever, win a Cy Young Award. And this makes me feel old.
When I was in 8th grade and playing street hockey every day, I was at the same time not
playing baseball everyday. I played only one year of organized baseball (4th-grade), and while I was athletic enough to compete in any sport, I was far from being considered a good baseball player. I was actually terrified of the ball (yet oddly I was a very good street hockey goaltender where the point is to get hit by the ball), and otherwise had no interest in the sport -- despite the three paternal-side generations before me being extremely talented baseball players (great-grandfather was offered a contract by the Yankees; grandfather was a local high school all-star and hit a home run off of Warren Spahn in high school; father went to a regional Pittsburgh Pirates try-out).
So, my point is, I was never really on a path to win a Cy Young Award, yet when I was younger it was always a possibility
. Maybe someday my latent baseball skill would surface and I'd go on to play in the Major Leagues. This holds true for any number of things. Maybe I would become an astronaut. Maybe I'd be president. Maybe I'd win an Olympic gold medal. Maybe I'd become a rock star.
But none of these things, along with countless others, are ever going to happen. I will not play in the Major Leagues. I will never go to space (at least on a scientific mission). My radical politics and spouting off about them and yelling at my friends in drunken states precludes any hope of a political career. I do have one idea of how I can still win an Olympic gold medal, but despite all attempts to make it so, I will not be a rock star. Once I graduated from college decisions had to be made and some of these decisions took forever away certain opportunities -- whether they were ever legitimate or not. So, winning a Cy Young Award was probably always a fantasy, but it was always hypothetically possible
. It isn't even that anymore. I have come to grips that neither the American League nor the National League will ever recognize me as the best pitcher in a specific season.
And this is why I feel old.