Being a middle aged man is some lonely shit. There is nowhere to make friends anymore, and the people you socialize with are usually work colleagues or neighbors, whose relationships with you prohibit the disclosure of revealing, intimate, or even merely controversial information. In a very real sense your existence is defined by your ability to contribute to a work environment and financially support your obligations. That’s your role. The proper role. The responsible role.
So men develop complex relationships to sports. To teams, players, and organizations. These attachments and their corresponding talking points allow you to relate about something without ever revealing anything that can be used against you. This is important because socialization, no matter how shallow, is important for corporate harmony, but privacy is important for your own well-being. One may pass hints about who he is by cheering for an underdog, liking the quarterback with a troubled past, or by being loyal to a coach despite his losing record. These decisions project things about your real and hidden identity to those around you and may offer covert entryways for people of a similar mindset.
That’s why in social situations with co-workers I say things like, I don’t think Trubisky is the real deal. I really think they should’ve stayed with Glennon. Or, I can’t watch my team anymore because they drafted Jameis Winston, and that dude is almost beyond a shadow of a doubt a rapist and a garbage human being, and I think women are more important than sports. Also, I don’t believe there is a god, but the ritual of belief is comforting, and as we spin toward our ultimate deaths and the inexorable void, I think it is worth living every moment to its most authentic apex. And why do we work here or tolerate the norms of end-stage capitalism? Mustn’t we overthrow the despair of this entropy starting with ourselves? And Brad, I’ve never had sex with a man before, but with you I might. I don’t know, there is just something about you. I mean, I was in love with a guy in college for a while, but retrospectively I know it was not because I wanted to be WITH him….I just wanted to BE him because he seemed more interesting and vital than I was. So yeah, vitalism! The pure, brilliant moment of ecstacy burning brighter than a thousand suns against the despair of the cold, entropic pall!
Once I was in a motel room in Skokie with a 2000 dollar a night hooker named Meagan. We were taking turns doing bumps of coke off each others genitals, and I happened in the moment to look into her face which was utterly content, utterly beautiful, utterly aware of the vast (usually habituated) input of her five hyperaware senses,and she seemed to be vibrating with joy, and the way the light reflected off her eyes made me think of the birth of the universe and the senseless, white, hot beginning of us all, and how nothing has reason to exist, NOTHING! But here we are, and GODDAMN I’M ALIVE! Anyway, who’s playing again?