Day 312: I Met My Favorite Person 5 Years Ago
I’ve told this story a million times. It’s almost to the point where I’m sick of telling it. It always has the same beginning, plot points and ending. There seems to be no way I can freshly tell it, but damnit, I’m going to try. Instead of prattling on for thousands of words, I’m going to let 19 pictures do most of the talking, because 19.
The news broke at about 3 AM. I was sitting at Blue & Gold, 4 Wild Turkeys deep, when the update came on MLB Network. Dee Gordon, my star 2nd basemen, my keeper, my boy, was popped for PED use. Which honestly made no sense, because he never hit home runs. But alas, the world would be without Dee Gordon until July 28th. I was sent into a fit of rage. Although I don’t remember much, I’m sure it was a very awkward ride home for Wes. I was grinding my teeth, muttering and I’m sure that I yelled at a panhandler or two. Not at them, but like, cursing Dee Gordon when they asked for change. I woke up dehydrated with a pounding head, an aching throat and July 28th circled on the calendar. Little did I know, the day before would be more significant.
After a bad date, an awkward rekindling and a plethora of dried up prospects, I decided to get back in the Tinder game. I came across this one while sitting on the toilet. I was swiping left rapid-fire, saw her picture for a split second, stopped my thumb and swung it back. She was hot, wore glasses AND worked for MLB Network?!? Way out of my league, but I swiped it right. To my horror, it was a match.
I spent all afternoon chickening out, trying to devise the perfect message to send her. In the process of me pacing and hiding, I took a picture of hand soap that was very excited to boast about its 3785 ML size.
I finally figured out the perfect message and hit send. the waiting game lasted for hours. 5 to be exact. After I lost all hope, she messaged me back.
After a day, I cut to the chase and awkwardly asked her out. She vaguely agreed, but we were both about to go on vacation. So it was up in the air. The dumbass gave me her number anyways.
Not even 24 hours after she messaged me back, I thought I had ruined everything. Out drinking with Wes, I had the dumb idea of sending her Chase Utley pictures instead of punching Wes in the face, which I told her I would do. My line after “You are the worst” was “I like me very much”. I cringed as she gave me radio silence. Minutes passed, then hours. Wes and I walked back to Brooklyn as I bemoaned just how fucking stupid I was. Wes always caught me on my worst nights. I went to another bar alone, where I had an in-depth conversation about OJ Simpson. Just as the bus pulled up to my stop, she messaged me back. Busy night at work. Crisis averted.
I did little things over time to try to impress her. Here was my impression of what Vin Scully would say during my at-bat.
On my way to the airport, she started this game that I got much better at. At the end of every night, we would give each other alliterative pet names. It was disgusting.
At some point during our trips, the truth slipped out. She was the one that broke the Dee Gordon news. I had never even met this girl and she had already affected me on so many levels without our knowledge.
I spent a lot of time in Chesaning sitting around, bored. So I got on photoshop and started making things for her. This one was a recreation of a picture she already had blew up.
This one was a fake postcard I texted her the day she left for her own vacation. In July of 2016, Melvin “Muppy ‘Don’t Call Me BJ’” Upton Jr was going on a tear and she was smitten. I was smitten with her, so I made her a Muppy postcard. My Mom rolled her eyes as I smiled my face off with my creation. It took me forever to find the right font.
This was another game we had where we took an abbreviation and rapid-fire filled in the blank until somebody made a repeat. This one was for “V Important” that I played while eating Mexican food with Nick. He said that he had never seen me so happy.
During the All-Star game, she sent me a picture of the one time she flipped off Joe Buck. I knew in that moment that she was truly special.
Driving from Traverse City to Grand Rapids, I came to the realization that I could be falling for her. Me. Falling in love with somebody I never met. Very much on brand for me. So I sent her a picture of Lake Michigan, knowing that I would remember how I felt when I took that picture.
In Grand Rapids, I also did a lot of sitting around. So we started having Taco Bell dates.
We decided that on July 27th, the eve of Dee Gordon Day, we would have a competition. We would see who’s the best at mini golf, the worst at bowling and the best at typing. The loser would have to buy Taco Bell. She also got us Mets tickets because she’s #connected.
On the eve of Dee Gordon Day eve, I was sitting at Freddy’s, watching some delta bluegrass band and gushing to Dave about how nervous I was about the competition/date(?)/whatever she wanted to consider it. While there, she stopped responding to me again. My heart sank. Maybe she was a catfish after all. A really active and attentive catfish. Typical Troy. Falling in love with a catfish. I went home, fell asleep on the couch and awoke to 50,000 text messages.
On my way to meet her in New Jersey, she sent me a picture of the car she would be picking me up in. This car was clearly not in New Jersey. “She totally doesn’t exist”, I told myself. But I kept going along with it. I took the train to Secaucus Junction and faced the moment of truth.
So what happened? Was she real after all? Did I end up winning the competitions? What did any of this have to do with Dee Gordon? Did we live happily ever after?
Well that, my dear reader, is none of your fuckin’ business.