Head games


It's not been a good week for me in terms of The Black Hole. Nor has it been a terrible one. It was—and continues to be?—another of those stretches wherein I feel basically OK but I'm scatterbrained.

If I didn't have a long history of this as a manifestation of my clinical depression, I'd be worried about long COVID or something. But I do have that history, and, frankly, given the choice between a stretch of foggy brain and a severe Black Hole episode of despair, I'll take this in a heartbeat.

A friend of mine—whose birthday I forgot this week, apologies—has mentioned a couple of times over the years that she's observed my Black Hole symptoms are worse in the summertime. I don't know if that's true or not, but this has been a rather quick return for a foggy-head stretch, seems like I just got over one of those. Is it just brain chemistry? Added stress? Ennui? Too damn much sunlight? Who knows.

But here's a rundown of my last week or so:

  • Forgot I had Mariner tickets for June 1st, which turned out to be a great game and it would have been fun to be there. I did realize my error in time to sell the tickets pregame on StubHub, so at least I got my money back.
  • Forgot Nikki's birthday and have yet to rectify that. (Sorry, Nikki.) But she's on a road trip right now, so maybe it'll keep.
  • Screwed up during an umpire shift in a circumstance that required more from me. There was a collision at home plate, completely unwarranted, but also I believe not premeditated, more one of those things that happens fast and reaction time was slow. And then my reaction time was slow. Way too slow. I handled everything in a manner that kept the peace and let us proceed reasonably well, but had I been sharper that night I would have been far more assertive and timely in laying down the law and offering better/more obvious defense of the injured party, who happened to be one of my favorite players in the league. Nobody's holding a grudge (that I know of) or giving me any sort of hard time about it, but I know I fucked up and that it was a disservice to one of my faves makes it all the worse, at least in my head.
  • Was late to my own softball game this week because I had transposed the start times of games (6:30 and 7:45 became 6:45 and 7:30, which makes absolutely zero sense) and I missed the first inning.
  • Screwed up yesterday's umpire shift by not remembering that different parks mean different start times because of things like lights and permits. I know this, it's basic information. Yet, knowing I was going not to Capitol Hill but to Wedgwood, I still timed things to arrive at 7pm. On my way down, at about 6:20, I got a call asking if anything was wrong since I wasn't where I was supposed to be at 6:00. Shit. Then to compound matters when I did arrive I went to the wrong field first (#3, not #2), got confused by the lack of people around when I expected two teams of annoyed softballers, and took an extra five or ten minutes to get things straight. Then I became aware that another group had the permit for that field as soon as we were scheduled to be done, so there was no wiggle room for going over time and I just had to rush things and basically those two teams got screwed out of half their time. I'm lucky that they were all understanding and not actually that annoyed. Again, had I been sharper, there was an easy solution involving moving to one of the unoccupied fields instead which would have allowed us to play later, but that didn't occur to me in time to do any good (we did play the second game on another field despite the fact that the bases there weren't pegged in and basically sucked).
  • Today is my sister's birthday, and as my mind is functioning at the speed of someone trying to run a 100-yard dash under eight feet of water, I didn't realize that until I heard someone on a podcast say the date out loud. So I made a call as I was out on errands and added "buy belated b-day card" to my errand list.

Is this stretch of fogginess over? No, I can tell it's not. I still feel like it takes three times as long to think a thought than it should. But with any luck it'll pass soon. It's a problem.

I did watch the Mariners this afternoon, as they blew a big lead and decided to go to the ninth with reliever Ryne "Panic with" Stanek in for the save. Why did they do that? No one knows. It didn't go well. It felt like ol' Panic was similarly having trouble concentrating on what was in front of him as he walked the leadoff man, served up a base hit and a one-out game-tying triple, and then his doofus manager intentionally walked not just the next guy to set up a potential double-play, but the guy after that as well—a slumping (and slow) Salvador Pérez, who's seen his batting average drop 38 points the last couple of weeks—to load the bases, which even the announcers were a bit dumbfounded by. Result? A hot shot off the bat that only a superhuman effort by J.P. Crawford kept from being a hit but was still enough to score a run and end the game. But hey, those fans in Kansas City got their money's worth tonight, that would have been a heck of a game to be at to see your team give up seven runs before even coming to bat then claw their way back to a close score only to win it in exciting walk-off fashion. Enjoy our slow-witted, unthinking Seattle ways, Kansas City!


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