At some point in the near future, very possibly tonight, the bullpen will lose another game, because the offense lost the game yesterday and so now it’s the relievers’ turn. They’re very good at taking turns. Unselfish. It’s good to see. So who do we trust? Who do we not trust? Let’s explore!
One note: I’m doing these in reverse order this time, because it leaves a much more pleasant taste in your mouth at the end. Is there a TWSS in there? There’s probably a TWSS in there.
Anyway, 15 guys. Better get started!
15. A sudden heaviness inside you
The burden of expectations are like a weight inside your body. Why do the others not understand? It is not for them to judge. It is not for them to understand your caprice.
14. A king leading the last of his troops into a hopeless battle
Some will desert, he knows. At the last minute, some, maybe even most of them will leave him and leave the regiment, making their way alone through a harsh world. Good for them, he thinks, his sword heavy at his side. Good for them.
13. A stranger at the end of an alley, cloaked in shadows, something in his hand
Is it mercy? Is he the one waiting to finally end this facade? You could turn back. But then, why would you? Isn’t this why you’re here?
12. A tree deep in the woods with just one word carved on it: SAVE
Nothing can be saved, you know. Your path through the forest has vanished; your friends have all forsaken you; even your name has been lost. Names don’t matter. To be saved is an impossibility. You are not here for that.
11. Looking up at the night sky to realize the stars are all wrong
There is no North Star. There is no Southern Cross. There is no Big Dipper. There are no Zodiac constellations. And every time you look at one cluster of stars, another one moves. You could swear it. You could swear it.
10. A chess set where, at first glance, every piece has your father’s face
You’re not a bad person, you want to explain to him, but he’s gone. He was never really there. You might as well not be there either.
9. A bright light at the bottom of the lake, beckoning to you
It must be 80 feet down, and you have to swim. Night after night, you resist it. Night after night, you ignore it. But tonight, don’t you want to touch it. It’s something beautiful, you’re sure. You can make it down. Can you make it back? Well, you can make it down.
8. A submarine at the bottom of the ocean, slowly taking on water
Some of the crew is trying its best, which is obvious. The others are presumably doing what they can too. Does it matter? There is a crack in the hull and you must surface immediately. You cannot surface immediately while the ship is taking on so much water. Some of them, bless them, are trying very, very hard. You appreciate some of them.
7. A man in the gas station staring at you intently
He has a corner of the gas station that he’s holding down. You’re not sure if he works there or is a customer. Maybe he’s there every day. Maybe he just came in. But he keeps looking at you. No, he keeps looking through you.
6. An endless hall of portraits but one you must keep walking through
You never see them staring at you. You never see the eyes move. You can never be sure if this is something that’s really happening in the world or if it exists only in your fevered, panicked imagination. But you can’t see the door ahead. And for that matter, you can’t see the door you came through either.
5. An abandoned car in the desert
It gets too hot during the day, of course, and so you are forced to find something else. But at night, the heat from your body can warm it up enough to make a cozy space for yourself. You have never looked for the keys. Maybe you could leave. But then, where would you go? There is only the desert.
4. A beached steamship that you never should have started exploring
The locals all stayed away. That should have been your first hint. But you paid a steep price for your guide. At first you weren’t sure about him, but over the last several weeks he’s proven himself, and he took you to the precipice. The rest, you had to do on your own. You did it. Here you are. You shouldn’t have come.
3. A stranger who you swear you once met in a dream
He is unfailingly polite to you. He knows your name. He knows your life’s story. He knows your interests and distastes, hobbies and pet peeves. He’s doing nothing wrong. It’s been years since he’s done anything wrong. But then, you’ve never actually met him.
2. A pencil that will only write down the wrong answer
You know every answer on the test. You couldn’t be more prepared. But every time you go to write something down, it changes. Every time you try to show off what you know, how well you’ve done, something else comes out. You want to tell people it’s not your fault. You want to, but it won’t help. The answers are all wrong.
1. Derek Law
Welcome back, buddy!