Blue Mournings

When I opened my eyes yesterday morning my insides hurt.

My body ached from head to toe.

I like felt I had just went three rounds in the octagon with Ronda Rousey.

Nausea was a loyal companion all day long, never leaving my side like some damn golden retriever.

I sat glued to the couch for hours watching the Major League Baseball Network, forcing myself to relive the painful details of the season’s final game, over and over and over, as if changing the station meant admitting the season was really over.

Even the weather reflected my grief. A blanket of dark clouds hung low in mourning, blocking the sun, as a cool breeze blew through Los Angeles for the first time in weeks.

God must be a Dodger fan.

Yes, I know… this is a travel blog.

But this blog is also about my mission to live with zeal and passion. Like I’ve said before, the Gap is about “squeezing the juice out of life… every last fucking drop,” and nothing gets my juices flowing like Dodger Baseball.

It may sound silly to you. It’s just a game, you might be thinking. Not for me, not for my family. Baseball, and the Dodgers in particular, bring memories of sweet experiences shared with loved ones. For a group of Angelenos living in the desert of Arizona, the Dodgers became an identity. When I hear the famed broadcaster Vin Scully’s voice, my chest fills with warmth.

You can read more about my love for the Dodgers here: Viva Los Doyers!

So before I made the life altering decision to quit my job and book a one-way ticket to Europe I had to check one thing:  Major League Baseball’s postseason schedule. The November 5th departure date was no coincidence. If the Dodgers would have advanced to the World Series, the last possible game, Game Seven, would have been played on November 4th. I could think of no better send off then witnessing a World Series victory with my brothers and loved ones. The elation would be so great I wouldn’t even need a plane ticket, I would just point my fist in the air and fly off to London like Superman with a Dodger Blue cape.

But the Dodgers lost and I can’t fly.

Even as I sit here, brooding in the darkness of defeat, I am pleased with my decision. I mean, just look at this picture of my brother and at Dodger Stadium for what would prove to be the last game of the season, our level of excitement oozing from the pixels:

 

Mexican Greinkes

 

For three hours Chavez Ravine rocked with emotion. As the game swayed like a pendulum, we cheered in moments of  triumph and prayed to the heavens when all seemed lost, searching for hope in the bats of our diamond heroes.

When our fate was sealed we walked through the parking lot like wandering zombies, hardly exchanging a word.

And that, my friends, is what it’s all about. No, not the zombie apocalypse, the ride. The memories of loss are as vivid as the memories of victory, and I’ll forever recall the day my brother and I went blonde for the Doyers.

Not a bad look right?

There’s always next year. But until then… I think I’ll do a little traveling.

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The Breakfast of Raymond K Hessel

I quit my job yesterday.

No, Brad Pitt did not hold a gun to my head and make me do it.

But my first day of liberty was amazing and he was right about my breakfast.

Every morning I start my day with a tall glass of lime water. They say it’s a great way to boost immunity, aid digestion and hydrate your body first thing in the morning. Normally I gulp down the tart tonic, bottoms up, as quickly as possible. But today, unemployed with nowhere to be, I thought, “what’s the rush?”  I inhaled deeply,  filling my nostrils  with the sweet smell of citrus. I tipped back the glass and savored every sensation, chewing the pulp as it entered my mouth. I licked my lips and smiled. I felt like my tonic tasted; fresh, rejuvenated.

To be honest, my oatmeal wasn’t that good this morning but I really wanted to use that Fight Club video so let’s just pretend it was spectacular. I ran out of milk and had to use water, gross. Mexicans love milk in their oatmeal. I once did a survey to verify my hunch. Sure enough, the results in my very official study (which consisted of me going around asking random people “how do you like your oatmeal?”) showed that most Mexicans use milk and Caucasians generally use water. But I digress.

The point is that I have officially started my journey. The Rat Race is in the rearview and it’s time for me to slow down and chew the pulp. I even did a little meditation after eating my mediocre oatmeal. I never thought it would feel so good to be unemployed. Time to start packing!