It doesn’t matter if Pete Rose considers Japanese baseball to be the equivalent of Triple-A baseball. When a pitcher goes 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA, people stand up and take notice. Throwing 183 strikeouts in that same season for the Tohaku Rakuten Golden Eagles is definitely a way to get noticed and coveted by any league – especially when that mixes well with only 32 walks in 212 innings pitched. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Boston Red Sox or Sinking Spring’s little league team. That’s some serious control and keeps the comparisons to wasting money on Daisuke Matsuzaka in check – at least with regard to throwing lots of pitches that lead to full counts as opposed to going into deep innings in a way that saves the bullpen from some grade D 5th pitcher filling in a rotation spot on the roster.
It seems that after the recent major league careers / debacles of Matsuzaka and Hideki Irabu, Yu Darvish has brought people back to believing in Japanese pitchers again. It’s like people can envision reliving a Hideo Nomo no-hitter all over again because the 18-6, 1.44, and 276 strikeouts with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters translated similarly into the major leagues (despite only having 13 wins with an underperforming Rangers team last year). Getting those 277 strikeouts and 2.83 ERA in the United States truly does set him in well with tough critics like Pete Rose, who really gives nothing to anyone – at least that isn’t earned against someone like him. Nearly throwing an opening day perfect game in 2013 against the glorified Single-A Astros is also a bonus with American fans looking to believe in import technology. The sky is certainly the limit for Japanese phenoms who are burdened with large financial requirements before it even comes to paying the player, and for that, the fact that they can handle the pressure in America means that baseball is a global game now that it’s worth investing in them and their former owners.
As for Cuban hitters with fiery tempers and unpredictable comings and goings, the jury is still out, but the benefit / cost analysis seems to encourage teams to still consider it.
Nevertheless, with that being said, whether it’s a flash in the pan American pitcher looking to translate above average abilities with a left arm into baseball gold or if it’s a half Japanese / Iranian import moving to the states, it’s good to be wanted. Everyone knows what last season’s free agents got because it’s public on ESPN. For that matter, it’s even better when you’re the newer model of the last foreign import breakout sensation and someone shows $175million reasons to want you (and all but $20million of those go to you over the next 6 years). It’s good to be loved and appreciated in that you know that you are an integral part of a team. When you get the ball every 5th game, you know that’s a good sign. When you’re pegged to be a front of the rotation starter, you know that’s really good, too.
It’s nice to be loved.
Yes, it’s nice to be Masahiro Tanaka when he can talk about how much more one suitor loved him than all of the others. And we believe him when he says how those deep-pocketed suitors from Gotham really wanted him. It’s nice to go into an interview and instead of having to explain “why I want to work for you,” you have to explain why you want me to work for you. The difference is subtle and the Communist Manifesto would truly exalt its greatness (as would the capitalist genius of Ayn Rand), but how often is that really the case? Is this still the feeling for last minute hanger-ons like Stephen Drew, Andres Torres, and Kendrys Morales? What does that say for the graveyard of former names that are out there on the list of toys without a home? More so, what kind of “thinking it over” does that imply for Barry Zito and his inability to translate the ashes of his last contract into any interest of taking him and his teddy bear on as a reclamation project this year? For that matter, is there a league minimum offer that guys like this can get because they don’t want to work at Sears (“Sears sucks, Crash”)?
No Lady Kenmores here.
Nevertheless, we don’t all get baseball money love, and some of those players who do get baseball money love have to consider the enormity of their contract in historic perspective – at least for the time being. For instance, for a time, it seemed that Mike Trout would have to settle for collecting $1million at age 22 so that he can play 162 games (and a few more in the post season, hopefully) for the Anaheim Angels. I would kill for that kind of money. I’d name my baby after someone for that amount of cash. Hell, I’d get a tattoo with a company’s name and emblazon it to my body in a prominent position – not the face though – if you offered me that kind of cash. Well, I’d do it somewhere on the rest of my body if your company wasn’t inherently evil like the Yankees or some equivalent of financially devastating / uber-violent industry that sells arms to the Syrians or Al Qaeda.
But yeah… what I wouldn't do for a cool mill.
Nevertheless, he didn’t have to wait. Since Miguel Cabrera’s triple crown in 2012 and the one he should have won 2013 (if not for an injury at the end of the season) means that he didn’t have to further explain his alcohol problems to a team looking to keep his power around for a 10-year extension (valued at $292million), Trout agreed to 6 years at $150million. This allows him to get another mega-check prior to turning 30, which if someone is looking to win Powerball twice, this is a good way to do it.
Provided he doesn't implode, and right now, it doesn't look like he will.
And it’s nice to be loved and have all of the right tools. It’s good to see someone getting their just desserts. It’s great to know that his team loved him enough that even with 2 other 9-figure deals already being paid out to under-productive Angels, Trout still got his love from Anaheim as well.
And it’s nice to know that the end of the story isn’t Trout being forced to concede to the bragging that, “I was the first player who wasn't arbitration eligible to earn $1million.”
Instead, it was all just a waiting game, and now it’s over, and he doesn’t have to worry – as if a 22-year old guy with a WAR that sits around 10 has much to worry about other than keeping out of trouble (because we all know that trouble finds people in the spotlight, whether they want it or not).
Trout looks good with a halo on his hat, and he will continue to look awesome jumping up against the wall and robbing home runs that Jered Weaver might otherwise allow. I applaud the decision to let him encourage and motivate Albert back to glory. I want to see him kick Josh Hamilton’s butt into shape as well. He is the future of the game, and for some reason unbeknownst to me who would kill to have a $50,000 a year salary from one job, a shoe deal that features a pair of sneakers, hiking boots, and dress shoes of moderate price a year (or some kind of benefits that include vacation, retirement, health care, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement) to go with an office to sit in, a wall to hang pictures on, and a business card with my name on it, I feel some connection for a guy who can rob home runs from the top of the fence, flying up there like he’s Superman. A guy with 5 tools like that deserves all of this money. All of those stolen bases, home runs, hits, and runs… they cause me to stop my life and think about their larger place in someone else’s universe even though most people would say that they are traits that really don’t make a difference.
But the thing is that for me and fans of the game like me, they do.
And as I think of this, I think of what I don’t have, and it’s not that I’m jealous. I’m not. I don’t have that skill set he has. I don’t have fast legs, a strong upper body, marvelous reflexes, and the ability to hit a curve, which will produce a sick double digit WAR or equally unbelievable VORP. I feel good for these guys, and I spend my time contemplating the lives of Verlander, Kershaw, Cano, and all of the other members of the 9-figure club to the point that they earn 9 figures and have everything that they could possibly want, whatever that is.
It’s just that at times like this when I step back from the casual conversation of baseball money in relation to capitalism (at least without any discussion of politics, per se), I have to put it into perspective.
What part of my bills are Masahiro Tanaka and Mike Trout paying?
As I go before the first wave of questions, I have to ask myself the question that I have been made to hear:
“Is this a deal breaker for you?”
I think of these words, and I realize that this translates to “how low can I offer you for your first big break that doesn’t lead to any promotions, any vacations for the first year, and much in the way of benefits?”
This further says “what will you put up with quietly to stay here and let me know that you will be my employee long enough that I can justify the time it takes to get you accustomed to this environment?”
“If you know it’s never good enough, will you sludge on through the morass in the hope that this new offer isn’t the old place in the hopes that you can be satisfied for life in the same corner that we start you out in?”
What bridge will you burn for 40 hours a week at one job?
What dance will you do to make your timeline acceptable to me?
What diverted opportunity will you take just to get in a new door?
Is there a place that we can offer you to sit quietly and be obedient in all of this?
And if there isn’t a place, what will you feel like then? Does it make you a failure if you realize that 9.5 years of dreaming of a place at a specific table isn’t the table for you? What if we tack another 3 years on? What does it feel like to think that you assigned some specific value to all of this?
Somewhere in the Toiyabe Mountains that came into view after the refueling stop necessitated by the wrong turn and the field of Mormon crickets, I dreamed a dream. The sun went down easy on a western sunset. The stars popped out one by one, and even though they were hovering over Nevada, they were the same stars I saw from Lake Almanor in northern California a few nights prior to it as I swam in the lake and bathed in the glory of turning 27.
And at the top of that campground that was located above Austin, Nevada, a forgotten destination on the Loneliest Road in America (Route 50), I had a dream.
I would be a teacher.
And this dream was a satori of sorts. It was the Voice of God speaking to me about a mission that I would fulfill. And somehow, this dream was actually realized – at least if the dream was to be a teacher teaching in a classroom or at the very simplest, a person attaining a teaching degree. I spent every day of my life after this moment happened trying to find a way to make it real. I took the essential classes and then some. I shook the hands, and I kissed the babies and the butts all the way through college to get to those first few years of teaching high school. I went on and on and every time that I thought I could and would never go on, every time that an insurmountable wall came and I thought I would never go on in the field, I still went on. There was always another show to get up in front of and teach. There was always a reason. There was always some voice in the past saying, “You influenced me to do…” or a new pathway to a new voice that I could influence appeared.
And yet now it all feels like some phony baloney assumption of meaning in an evening’s daydream that I could have just as easily have abandoned as any other idea that I’ve forgotten along the way. All of those books… all of those questions I should have asked but never did… why did this one survive when so many other tasks were forgotten to time and lesser meaning? I puzzle myself to answer that because I am still trying to rationalize how to answer his question of “why won’t anyone hire you or people like you full time?”
Is his whole conversation all just a reason to urinate on the corpse of Obamacare, or is there some other more profound thought that I am to take from this? Perhaps it’s just him saying that he operates without a filter, but it doesn’t feel inviting, even if it’s a test.
I wonder if this thought went through Jackie Robinson’s mind when Branch Rickey hit him with a barrage of potential insults to see if he had the guts not to fight back. I can only imagine that it must have been there partnered to what does the General Manager of the Dodgers really want with sending for me all expenses paid (a thought that definitely allows someone to keep calm long enough to find out)?
I think of other teachers who have abandoned their dreams in need of full time employment and the magical mystery hope of such (and those others that must not have been able to hold in the statement that responds to the attacks against them without biting their tongues).
Is a redirection of career with more college training for me the right answer? Am I OK with the skills that I have if I feel that I need to go next? Should I wait this out another year and a half so that I can give this more thought and say that I have been in this educational world for a decade and a half?
Would my loyalty be rewarded for dedication to the company, or would I be seen as someone who is too afraid to take a risk?
Can I handle the pressure, the stress, the entitlement, the abject hatred, the role of authority, and the lack of permanence mixed with the lack of money or time to spend the money that I have in a way that makes all of my time worthwhile? Can I find a reason in this electronic list of things to do that say that here is something that I was meant to read?
Of course, there will be things that make sense, paths to lead people on, smiles that will greet me, but will there be enough reason to make me stop my wondering of how I ever came to Eureka, Nevada, in the first place, or is this all just part of the road that I have been led on, a road that has gotten me so lost from where I was originally intended to be?
Or is it something else? Am I just meant to feel the words of Robert Frost and sit here typing about telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence as the shaking continues on and on and on?
Who was I meant to teach? Is there someone who I was supposed to show the light? Is there someone who will come next? Or was I meant to teach myself the greater truths of life and writing?
Or was I meant to experience the truth for myself as my words boomed off of the back walls of the classroom and reverberated in my ears?
It’s funny to say this now, but like teachers sludging through the daily grind of “where should I be when the future is uncertain,” this all starts to feel like the final remaining free agents pondering going on while refusing to consider retirement.
“I can’t go on. I will go on.”
Samuel Beckett or Sandy Koufax…
We’re all waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. If we give up the wait, we’ll never see if he’s real or not, so we must keep the hot stoves lit through the coldest of winters and believe in his eternal presence or that of chupacabras, skunk apes, Grassman, pukwudgies, sasquatches, yetis, aliens, ghosts, and the Loch Ness Monster.
But what if it’s just not worth the wait and the time can be spent somewhere else focusing on things that are real and not fantastical or the like?
In that, what if there’s nobody waiting on us?
Carlos Pena, Jeff Francouer, Jason Bay, Travis Hafner, Placido Polanco, Clint Barmes, and Yunieski Betancourt… you all had such promise and talent at one point, but then it just vanished, and now, here you are. Where do we go when we’re hanging on to hope in spite of the reality of what comes next?
Jason Giambi signed a minor league deal with the Indians just because it keeps him in the game. There’s a hope of getting to the big leagues, but there’s the opportunity to play most days – provided he’s not keeping some youngster from getting experience that will take him to the big leagues and asking too much for too little value that he offers.
And that’s the point… it’s all a dream that used to be real and to some degree, it still is, but it’s not the same as it was before. There are other great home run hitters now. Paul Goldschmidt seems poised to break out with long drives over the fence and the ability to plate runners as well. He’s for real. He’s done things for me in the here and now. Can the return of Matt Kemp offer the same promise past the initial 2 home runs and the hunger for one of the starting spots in the Los Angeles outfield? Will he patrol the wall at Chavez Ravine or will he be replaced with someone else who can?
When will their days be over so that they can be moved to give room for some hot shot rookie from Nowheresville?
And for who Jason Giambi still would like to be, it just makes me remember the great dirtbag Giambi of the fall of 2001. The memories of him screaming at his teammate Miguel Tejada for slacking on the base paths during Game 5 of the ALDS in 2001 while his future teammates looked at him salivating all the while for what they’d get over 7 years ($120 million) as they came back to beat his A’s one last time. These memories are long since gone (and so is his colossal efforts to not lose). So too are the BALCO days and the unspecific apologies of what brought down a once promising player.
Instead, there’s a broken man wondering if he’ll get to manage or add to his home run total over one more season, even a partial season as a bit player.
Somehow, it doesn’t seem too different than what I feel now as I ponder what path to free agency that I should choose for my future.
And baseball fades, and it’s back in time to the promise of Jesse and Celine, which happened somewhere in the middle of those years where I managed to live without baseball. In 1995, they were a beautiful young couple meeting on a train in Vienna. From a wild, what if of a question that was the “would you like to spend my last evening with me” to an agreed wandering through early twenty-something hopefulness, they became companions on a journey through one of Europe’s grandest cities and into each other’s literary memories of potential and actual love and sex and conversation and hope and promise and purpose.
What could they do before sunrise? Where would they wander around to, and what would become of their burgeoning relationship? Did it really matter? They were together, moving deeper into each other’s hearts for what they experienced in a magical day that would transpire before the pre-ordained division that was going to come all too soon. The places only seemed to matter in that they were a European host showing an American what her world was as he shared with her his ideas of love, life, and philosophy.
The fact that everything transpired on Bloom’s Day, that literary holiday when English majors reflect on how James Joyce’s character met his wife in Ulysses, seems so intelligent and deep and somehow still so irrelevant to anything other than some personal inside joke that everyone gets (and isn’t that the point of all of this, too?).
Nevertheless, they have their night, and the sun comes up and they say goodbye, and we wait 9 years to find out if they actually did anything or not (and they did – twice it turns out). But it wasn’t the fornication and the nakedness of the moment. Instead, their conversation was everything we hoped we would find in our time during those early twenties. All night conversations to closeness and deeper meanings were echoed our songs and our books. It was all so possible and hopeful, and when it ended, there was love and an agreement to get together again. Would it come? Was it even possible, or was it all just some pipe dream? The goodbyes were hard, but the moment was magical.
And 9 years later, it did come true, before the next plane ride, after the book tour commenced, and there was more European hopefulness and dreams of what could be. There was the connection and the memories and the tales of how they were to get together again, but fate held them apart, but now here they were… bound together in spite of death. Almost brought together in New York in the years in between (though fate didn’t allow that) and animated together in the middle of Waking Life so the faithful could imagine what it would have been like if the movie went further and the 2 of them had their forever together.
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, standing side by side again in the hopes of what another time together would be, were each other’s favorites until the sun went down. And for the course of the movie, they had their conversations, European individualism and perspectives to American destiny. The walk kept going, and the feeling that it would all be over soon was there. Jesse would have to go back home to where he began this tour. His life with his wife and child would begin again, as miserable as it was before, as Celine’s neurotic quest for feminine meaning would continue, and they would have always had this place in the Europe of their dreams until they ended up in her apartment, Celine playing the guitar and speaking in her best stage voice that, “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.”
And Jesse just looking at her with the grin that mirrors the final two words of the movie while the screen vanishes into credits.
And like that, nine years go under the bridge, and they’re back again for one final installment where he ponders how he gave it all up for a woman with a guitar and she gave it to him by throwing a game of pinball to let him win. The beautiful beliefs of what made things what they were are gone and what comes with them is the pain of real deal adult life. The hopefulness of youth is gone. The “what ifs” of where will they be are gone as they are now married with twin girls.
In 2013, Celine is teetering on the opportunity of a great new job, a job that would see her pursue her ideologies of politics as opposed to her love of Jesse. He, too, is tortured by life. His divorce and separation from his son are weighing heavily on his mind as he contemplates what he gave up to be with Celine. There is love, sure, and there is a life spent together, woven into the memories and day to day realities, but where they were dreams and memories of what could have been had the airplane not divided them back in 1995, they are now images of pain. Where they have seen one another naked and experienced unbridled passions, they are now caught up in anger and frustration for all that day to day life has done to them.
For the hope of being together in passionate moments, a phone call can jar them back to reality and leave them arguing and casting permanent attacks on one another.
In this, day to day adult life is never as romantic and wonderful as the dreams that fill the literary volumes read to mirror those times or the expressions of a life together. If that was, it all vanishes after time and familiarity, at least we’re led to believe by the day to day garbage that our lives pile upon us as we go up our hills like Sisyphus, only to watch the boulder go down again, all the while taking a part of us with it.
All of the poems and songs that express those greater loves and connections do nothing to express what it’s like to come home day after day in the hope that there is still a wild vacation moment that can restore those days. In this, Jessie and Celine are not too dissimilar from Pete and Debbie in This is 40 except that none of this is really funny. In fact, the caustic expression of how the edge of marital dissolution plays out is pure brutality. Played out like a Pig Destroyer song, we see the once beautiful and idealistic Jesse and Celine eviscerate each other left and right. All of their great moments are explosions of betrayal as their truths are now revealed as far less real than the dream of it all ever allowed them to be.
For well over an hour and a half of the movie, the characters clash against one another. Even in the moment that seems to see them reconcile or at least set aside their differences in the throes of sexual intimacy, there is a collision that stops it dead in its tracks. As a result, the hate grows thicker and the words that can never be unsaid continue to come out, and with them, there is a sense that Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy are conspiring to kill the last beautiful memories of something long ago.
At best, this is Paumanok where Whitman’s beach features the drifts and remains of the tides pulling in and out on what has washed through them and the fatherland that has been returned to.
Where will life leave us? Will we cling on or will be bob endlessly in the frothy cold ocean waves and arrive somewhere? Will we be any more meaningful after the journey than the shells and remains that litter the beach?
And just as I might witness the death of a friend who is being gunned down in cold blood before me, as I witness my own life’s revelation that nothing lasts forever and is as it seems, I can’t stop crying. Even in the final few minutes of the movie, the point where it has to end on some kind of note of possibility for resolution, a resolution that is never shown (or maybe it is – we’ll have to wait 9 years to find out), there is a sense that there has to be something in all of this because for it to just end with walking out the door to the tune of 2 words that say, “Just go,” there has to be a reason that all of this ever happened in the first place.
Celine says, “Well, it must have been one hell of a night we're about to have,” and with that, we wonder if it will be or if it will all be over in the morning when the final throes of sexual intimacy that can only occur after two people are tired of fighting and need some semblance of happiness to wash away the day have occurred.
And just like sex, it all means so much, and then it’s over as the racing hearts return to an even keel and normal life is restored, and with it, so too are the normal day to day responsibilities and meanings or lack thereof.
And for that, the problem is that at this moment, there’s just no reason to ever think that all of Jesse and Celine happened for any reason. They’re as good as done. My romantic role models are washed away in the sands of time. The expatriated and youthful Dan is long since gone. The trip to England ended on July 8, 1996. The last vestiges of being lost and spontaneous in that dreamlike way soon followed with the dream of teaching in the journeys through America.
Is that the next thing to go?
Will that be the last thing to go, or could there still be other things to lose and transition into more lives that I can’t even begin to fathom?
Only time will tell.
And as I think of this, I wonder why this happened other than I made a lot of memories along the way and they were necessary to get me from there to here or some future there.
Like Kris Kristofferson sang, “And it took me back to something that I lost somehow somewhere along the way.”
Like William Faulkner pilfered from Shakespeare, “Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
And as William Faulkner himself said, “That past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.”
But the thing is that in this moment, it really is. Nothing is the same as it was when this whole journey started. It’s all just brutalized and ugly and no more.
There is no Mark McGwire left in the game to hit some magical home run that will make sense of everything. There is no come from behind 8-7 victory in St. Louis at the end of one of the most meaningful summers of my life. There is no Kat in San Francisco. All of the places that I saw are for the most part still there, but there’s no Ford Escort to take me across to them as I think of Whitman’s poetry while loving everything I saw as I drove as far down Route 81 as I could to get to Biloxi.
It’s all gone. Steroids scandals and lost friendships, hopes and dreams, connections and frustrations, lost ghost worlds of the past and modern skyscrapers of the future, and a myriad of other visions across the highways, bridges, and back roads of an America that I never knew existed are dust in the winds of my life (dude).
There are still pictures to prove it once existed, but in the time between, the only truth is what is left to be pictured on the camera in the coming months.
But it’s hard to think about that when everything here is a chapter in the American Book of the Dead. Here is a place where Jesse and Celine stand in line with 3-foot coffins and an endless parade of bodies from this Dead Generation (you are so far beyond “lost” that Gertrude Stein couldn’t even begin to label you).
Simon and Garfunkel sang about how “the only truth I know is you,” but for the truths I know, I’m lost, and I’m trying to let them tell me “to look for America” since the truth is out there, but it’s just so marred in this ravaged hordes that I’m wandering through, so lost that I can’t even determine where they stop and I start.
And then I think of the name I gave myself… the purpose in my life… the meaning of life for so long… and I wonder if it was ever real or if some magic moment in time just deluded me into believing, and that’s something that it’s not even worth looking at in the same way as I once did.
And as I think of that, I drift off into images of the dead black snow on the side of the roads. The few images of beauty of winter are gone. The last few remaining piles of ice clinging to the earth are a sign that spring will never come again.
And this saddens me more than anything.
But here’s the thing… time waits for no man, and with that, there are hopes. And there are places to look for to find hopes. There is still talent. There are still literary moments and transcendent beauty caught up in the seed of possibility that sits under the earth, waiting to push through and become the flowers of April and May and June and July. And with that, there is still love.
I look into the garden and I see rows of crocuses. I see a daffodil in bloom, and I see the start of hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils and various other spring plants. For the longest time, they were just hiding beneath the dead leaves of last winter. It was all just about clearing off the death to reveal life.
Perhaps that’s the message for me, too.
And I think about that, and I know that while there is still life on this Earth, there is a chance to find meaning in the big smile of a little baby. And even if some lives last forever and some just flicker on and off like the stars in the sky, there is more to life than the deaths we watch because we can reverse our course. We can see the goodness in things. We can create our futures. I can be someone to a 6-month old baby who just makes all of the other nonsense irrelevant with his goofy smile and charm as he manages to accomplish rather pedestrian tasks like rolling over and cooing and giggling since they’re someone who is my direct relation.
With all of that, all of the wanting to be needed in a job doesn’t matter because when I’m holding my nephew, I see that I have a purpose and place in the universe in a similar way to that I feel when I am close to my wife in the knowledge that everything is real and right in what we have, and that for all the worry and wonder, nothing matters because right here is solid and forever.
For this, love is a good thing. It is all I know that will guide me through.
But when that’s untouchable, there are the words that, “I’m not here. This isn’t happening,” which are words that Thom Yorke of Radiohead states emphatically, over and over in “How to Disappear Completely.” His reflections on a relationship’s dissolution may seem parallel to the feeling that he got playing shows to two people before fate decided that the evolution from “Creep” to The Bends to OK Computer to Kid A made them perhaps the biggest alternative / indie band of the last 30 years.
And that is the question… how does that break come? How does that moment arrive when we don’t have to talk about the failures that we feel and experience while trying hard to express why we are the right person for this place? How do we get the patience to stick it out so that we can arrive at the next season’s opening day, which was meant for us in the place that was labeled our destiny?
I’m not sure what the answer is, but I hold on, and with that, I keep believing in the good things in life.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but I hold on, and with that, I keep believing in the good things in life.
There’s no alternative, at least an alternative that I want to feel.
I keep believing in the star gazer lilies as I look to the heavens in search of my great new answer.