the lion sleeps tonight
Last night the White Sox closed out the World Series.
My excitement was apparent as the finale drew closer. With one more out dangling the fate of the Houston Astros, I couldn't feel an ounce of sympathy like I tend to do when watching sporting events such as this one. Games with monumental outcomes and title winnings affect me.
In the late 90s, Dad got Sugar Ray Leonard's comeback on pay-per-view, and we watched his merciless defeat unravel as quickly as we could change the channel. I cried for 20 minutes. Feeling sorry for the old man. Wishing he had someone to be a shoulder to cry on. Someone other than his manager. He needed a teammate. I felt a deep loss for Sugar Ray. It takes a lot to push yourself into the ring when you're an underdog.
As the Sox were getting ready to hold the title and send the Astros home packin', I prepared my stereo with Queen's "We Are the Champions" and cheered out the window.
For those who know me, you must be thinking, "Sara. A baseball fan? I thought she hated sports?"
Well, I still do. But let's not forget that just as the Chicago Southies, there's something in this win for me just as they regained some sense of pride after years touting around as the little guys.
Last night marked the beginning of something so beautiful I can barely describe it.
I live in an apartment. A small box confined between the noises and sounds of thinly constructed walls and subject to the lingering smells of neighbors whose bad fish needs neutralization. This apartment, smashed between all of this noise, has been victim to repeated abuse from the boys upstairs.
The boys upstairs love the White Sox.
At lunchtime. During the five o'clock news. While I am in my living room reading for class. And for the past week, predominantly during the hours that my head rests on my pillow. The pillow that is a mere three feet from the ceiling. The ceiling which I've deemed unstructurally sound because it rests below the stomping ground and party living room of the Sox fans'.
The noise has been unbearable. Smashing chairs, throwing stools, jumping on couches, pouncing and dancing. Their attempts to synchronize stomps offsets my inner ocd. The anger from their stomping goes from feeling angry about the clammer to being furious about their inability to at least keep the noise at some consistent pattern. The spastic nature of their noise erupts just as my eyes are closing and I am rolling over for the night. The songs out the window and victorious screams at two o'clock in the morning are only dim representations of the peace disturbance that these lads are capable of.
They love their team. Enough to put me out of sleep. Enough to keep me from calling public safety for noise control. Enough to give me the clear understanding through some drywall that going up and asking for some quiet would be asking for a broken window and piss on my doorstep.
I'd been so accustomed to their love and appreciation that I learned what a run sounded like. One jump and a scream. A strike was always an object thrown or a stool picked up and stabbed into their what I am sure is completely demolished carpet. And a series win sounded like I am sure it should. Men running outside to tell the world one beer at a time. Fine, two beers at a time. Silence in the apartment to go spread the joy in the streets.
At which point, I escorted my guest out, prepped myself for bed, and smiled something spectacular.
The Sox win, I get to sleep at a decent hour.