I give my my brother credit. He is the only person I know who can manage to take a conversation about baseball, devolve it into an erudite and all together abstract conversation of numbers and philosophical stances, and keep it interesting, worth listening. The same cannot be said for many of the hardcore baseball fans I interact. In fact, with most sports, I am turned off beyond a certain level enjoyment, a certain self awareness (and shame) that we are watching-with great passion-grown men ride bicycles really fast, kick balls towards two posts stuck in the ground, and scurry angrily about on ice, chasing a bit of rubber. No, forget that, and the zealotry becomes a bit too much for me (except in moments when it it is a grand, collective experience, I suppose).
I have discovered a similar effect in the great sport of all doormen: women ogling. Now, I shall incriminate myself first in saying that I do occasionally (or occasionally habitually) take a peek at a passing derriére, and that I occasionally (or occasionally habitually) have thoughts that are not on the respectful side of things.
However, to take the sports metaphor even further, I am at a best an ardent hobbyist, a pathetic hanger on in the big-league games that take place at my buildings. This really only happens at one building, but it seems that to work there, one must know how to play.
Instead of statistics, measurements are talked, instead of grand, romanticized (and somewhat dubious) myths of great at-bats, dunks from the top of the key, we have the made up stories of sexual conquests that never happened, slick lines never pulled, juggling of two phantom women at the same time. The same sort of abstraction takes place, excepts it is less statistics than a division and elevation of body parts an obsession of sexuality and synecdoche.
There is no first pitch to start the game, no, but the game officially begins when the summer makes his slow way through the lobby, and with the slow grandiosity of one who knows he is in control of the ceremonies, lights his cigarette. The match officially begins when he flicks his match. Slowly, some of the other doormen, or his friends from the street collect, and stories are struck, swinging for the big-dicked fences, insults and come-ons slung back and forth to each other to the women, just barely out of earshot, if at all.
It is a relatively disgusting thing to watch, if entertaining. Certainly it ruins my own ribald daydreaming. Being an amateur, I am not too often invited to these games. On occasion, the super will have no one to play with, and a pick=up game is better than no game. he’ll call me out under some pretense of sweeping, but really, my job is to lob pitches for him to get in some batting practice. Gotta stay in shape, dearies.