Fall Down City

If an investigator or someone insidious ever wanted my genetic information, well they’d have no problem collecting it is all I’m saying. Woot woot! I kid but really I do leave my genetic information all over the place all the time.

One time at a baseball game, I was sweating so bad they removed me from the bleachers. My sweat puddled around where I was sitting and it began streaming out and making it’s way towards other people; this husband and wife.

People asked “Did you pour water on yourself” and others likely just assumed that I had.

When I said I hadn’t, and had no water bottle to show, everyone treated me as if I had a disease.

“Ewww!”

“Gross!”

“What’s the matter with this guy? Get him outta here!”

A home run landed a section over but it basically went unnoticed because all the focus was on me. The heat and the sweat and the sight of dozens and dozens of heads turned towards me looking concerned; I felt a lone, and scared. I felt like an outcast. I wanted someone to throw me a life jacket!

But I guess no one had ever seen a man sweat as much as they’d seen me. People where looking up and around, saying “Could something somehow poured on him?”

I was the great mystery of left field bleachers, I was the center of all the talk. And I was extremely self conscious about it.

Stirred up, overheated and overwhelmed into confusion, I tried to cover my face with my hands and nonchalantly faint right there at my spot on the bleachers. With my head rolling back and ending up on people’s shoes, I had failed.

“My God, what’s he doing now?!!”

“He’s on my shoes!”

“Quick! Lift your feet up!”

There was a dead fish in the left field bleachers. Sloppy, slippery, wet, limp, and now with peanut shells all over it’s face.

This was a family game, and according to many people’s opinion, what was going on with me was indecent and perverse.

No one wanted to help me up. I floundered. Some people even discouraged other people from helping me.

“Ew, you don’t wanna touch him.”

“Well someone should do something.”

I could feel the stadium filth on my face. And I could hear the voices of hundreds of disgruntled and disconcerted ballpark attendees. I wished and prayed for a rain shower. I was almost incapable of staying awake. I sat myself up and I began mumbling about the rain.

“Could use a nice shower right now, what’s the forecast?”

See, rain would’ve bailed me out. Everyone concerned with their own dryness would’ve been running and seeking cover, instead of out loud, expressing their disgust towards me.

Rain would’ve been the greatest gift I could’ve received at this moment, but it was extremely unlikely, and just not happening.

I was with friends from work and they had never seen me like this. They were like “whoa man, we never knew you were like this.”

They’ve seen me sick and sneezing and hacking and all the fluids I can produce that way. But in an air conditioned office, they never knew about my life as a sweater.

They were embarrassed and were looking at me like “pull it together man.” But I can’t stop myself from sweating. It’s not some sort of conscious decision I make to sweat as much as this.

An EMT and a few security guards arrived at the request of whoever was bothered enough to go and seek help. Maybe there’s a phone number to report wrongful or suspicious activity? I don’t know, but at no point did anyone say “we’re getting you help, they’re on their way,” so I guess it was done anonymously.

Medical and security took me by the arm and were to “escort me into the shade.” In my mind, I couldn’t tell if they were going to give me a check up and upgrade my seat out of courtesy and necessity (they can’t send me back out to the bleachers I figured; they shouldn’t!). Or I couldn’t tell if they were making moves and were in the process of kicking me out of the ballpark.

Whatever the reason, I felt as though I was a disgusting inconvenience, and they were trying to move me out of sight. I was the hideous undesirable, in need of exile. I’m surprised they didn’t come and retrieve me in hazmat suits.

“God forbid a ball gets hit there and we have that on camera! We can’t let this happen in my ballpark! It’d be a scandal!” I imagined the team owner saying, standing in their box and staring at me through binoculars after being informed of a “situation” in left field.

Being escorted down the row and up the aisle, the crowd parted like the sea. I looked into eyes of many while passing, those eyes all looked away. Did I do something wrong in a past life?

But even with the help of people who’s job it was my safety, it still couldn’t be promised that I was in good hands. And by “good hands” I mean people with a strong grasp.

Still I’m like a fish, and fish do slip.

I hold no grudges against them; my pores are like faucets; I could’ve slipped out the hands of anyone. Fainting for me is not super common like, having stomachaches or indigestion is. But it does happen more often with me than most people.

My ballpark handlers took me over to first aid where I had my pupils checked, my blood pressure checked, and I was given a free water bottle! To top it all off, they allowed me to sit in an empty seat that was usually designated for people with wheelchairs and disabilities. It had been an upgrade!

I reunited with my co-workers later on to tell them about my good change in luck. They all sounded tired and indifferent. I can believe that, they probably got too much sun in those bleachers.

What a good thing it was that I got forced out in the 3rd inning.

My sweat, my falls, my apparent lifelessness—it made for a good crowd reaction. Not a positive reaction but it made for an interesting time.

My body is like one of those junk cars from the movies, where it’s barely lugging along and there’s hubcaps and bolts popping off all over; I am a man in constant ruin; I leave noticeable evidence of myself wherever I go.

Still nothing can ever compare to the panics I cause with my nose bleeds though.

Those look like violence.

That’s when other people start fainting.

Fam

I ran into some festy friends at the hospital who had just had a new born baby born and I was like “Whaaa? You guys got a baby? That shit is a lot of responsibility you know that right? You know you’re gonna be taking care of that kid for a long ass time?”

They humbly responded and were like “yes.” They appreciated that I acknowledged and marveled at their child, but I wasn’t exactly saying a congratulations.

I was like, “glad you like your baby, but summers coming up and there’s mad festivals to attend. We always travel the road and the circuit together, we have been for years. So whats up? You gonna keep that kid in the tent, or leave it at home with a baby sitter?”

They said “no festivals for us this year” and I don’t know how they could even say that. We’re supposed to be fam. Summer is what we live for. It’s the only time we all really see each other or talk. What about all the Molly we’ve done together, or the matching bracelets we made? Are we still fam?

I got flashed a couple summer bracelets and was told “we’re still fam, we’ll always be fam. Those moments are something we’ll never forget.”

And honestly, the forgetting part isn’t the problem. I can hardly remember large chunks of my summers, or even my life for that matter. What I care about is raving all night until the sun comes up with close ones. What I care about is us laughing and bonding through weirdness. What I care about and look forward to the most are the “Survivor’s Breakfasts,” where those of us who didn’t pass out or fall asleep during the night share a celebratory meal together in what is, unquestionably, an epic marathon of bizarre behavior and madness.

And what I heard….. “how can we forget about the blueberry pancakes?”

Whatever.

We’ve always said there’s only 2 seasons: festival season, and the remaining bullshit season. It seems as though with the birth of this baby, festival season will here on out contain some bullshit as well. That’s it. It’s over! Nothing good lasts forever!

I couldn’t help but audibly sigh and say “Kid’s suck” under my breath. Seeing two of my favorite festy pals do something like this? It honestly felt like a stab in the back.

“But…”

“Next summer the baby will be a year old…”

“And of course we’ll take him on the road with us. He’ll be ready then!”

I needed a moment to think.

And more time.

Maybe I am the one giving up on the fam here? Maybe my response has been, well, a bit selfish? And this baby could be a prodigy baby, you know? Growing up at the festivals and in the right environment, it’ll likely develop extraordinary skills and rhythm, and could easily become like, really really good at the bongos or something. He’ll have the headstart that I never had—that I wish I had.

I needed many more minutes to think…

But eventually…

“It’s a boy!?! Congratulations!”

We sat and began talking excitedly about how cool the kid is gonna grow up to be, and how we’ll all help raise him and give him water and teach him how to glowstick.

And like that, it felt like fam was back together all over again. This baby is only a minor setback. This upcoming summer might be a bit less exciting, but things will bounce back and be better than ever. The fam will have a new member next year.

It was then that a nurse came in in a panic and escorted me back to my room. She was saying there was an alert that I went missing. But really, I found what I needed to.