As I watch the final month of Derek Jeter’s career, I can’t help but think of Pink Floyd’s Time.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And here we are – the starting gun has gone off, and twenty years have passed, and Derek Jeter is 40, and it’s the end. You know, I’ve sat down a number of times to write an opus about Derek Jeter, but each time I come up short. I can’t do it. It either comes across as a puff piece (and there have already been plenty of those) or some kind of weird melancholic nostalgia that, let’s be honest, none of you care about.
It is tough to see your favorite player retire, but I suppose it is something everyone deals with. As they say, the years never lose, and time remains undefeated.
It’s interesting that in this life you become attached to things, even though you know, somewhere in the back of your mind, that those things will end and you will be sad. Like, you are almost certainly going to outlive your dog and see it die. But people still get dogs.
There was a great conversation in the last season of Louie which kind of gets at the heart of what I am feeling.
Dr. Bigelow: So you took a chance on being happy, even though you knew that later on you would be sad.
B: And now… you’re sad.
B: So… what’s the problem?
L: I’m too sad…. Look, I liked the feeling of being in love with her. I liked it. But now she’s gone and I miss her and it sucks. And I didn’t think it was going to be this bad, and I feel like, why even be happy if it’s just going to lead to this, you know? It wasn’t worth it.
B: You know, misery is wasted on the miserable.
B: You know, I’m not entirely sure what your name is, but you are a classic idiot. You think spending time with her, kissing her, having fun with her, you think that’s what it was all about? That was love?
B: THIS is love. Missing her, because she’s gone. Wanting to die…. You’re so lucky. You’re like a walking poem. Would you rather be some kind of a fantasy? Some kind of a Disney ride? Is that what you want? Don’t you see? This is the good part. This is what you’ve been digging for all this time. Now you finally have it in your hand, this sweet nugget of love, sweet, sad love, and you want to throw it away. You’ve got it all wrong.
L: I thought this was the bad part.
B: No! The bad part is when you forget her, when you don’t care about her, when you don’t care about anything. The bad part is coming, so enjoy the heartbreak while you can, for God’s sakes.
So, yeah, maybe this is the good part. Maybe it’s good to feel a little sad, a little nostalgic, a little like your childhood is ending, because it’s actually really poetic. And, hey, it reminds you that some really good stuff happened over the years. Being alive and watching Derek Jeter in the present, what are the odds of that?*
*Considering there has been life on Earth for about 4.5 billion years, about .0000004%.
It has been a great run. I will miss watching Derek Jeter play baseball.
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say