Baseball Magazine

Kong And Heartbreak

By Gary

Kong And Heartbreak

Recently, I visited a friend in Los Angeles, and in a drunken haze (and remorseful weakness) I decided to buy a pack of cigarettes. It was an odd and not well-thought-out move as I hadn't wrapped my lips around a cancer stick for almost five years. You see, the threads of anxiety started that evening when I had, by happenstance, walked by a movie theater that my ex-girlfriend and I used to go to quite often. And as I passed by, it gave me a lurch in my stomach.

What makes the scene even more fortuitous is that very morning I found a forgotten baseball card of a side glancing, smirking Dave "Kong" Kingman tucked away in a notebook that I hadn't laid eyes on since I'd first received it inour shared mailbox many, many years earlier. We had lived our own manufactured, domestic dream on a cactus-strewn, sun-bleached, quiet street and were running late- rushing to the very same theater where the entombed memory would be unburdened many years later.

I used to play a game in this darkened movie house where I would press my mouth to her ear during a lull in the film and whisper I love you and hold the ouuuuu sound. She would laugh and push me away before subtly holding her face close so I could kiss her cheek. I've always had my own tensions, but they seemed to melt away when she was around during that summer of 2012. Of course, I'm going to remember these little things because I'm nostalgic by nature and they could perhaps be the most tender moments of my chaotic and ludicrous life. Perhaps when you recall similar moments you realize that the little things were the big things, and as you age you will lose them in small increments like paper cuts.

The breakup was terrible, heartbreaking, unmerciful and all the other devastating words. As a writer, (or at least someone who moonlights as one) shouldn't I be able to confront difficult topics without having my psyche shattered? This was an indelible moment that I had hidden for years until that quiet night when it met me on that corner with the illuminated marquee and hit me over the head. (In a suburb made famous by the Rose Bowl and a Jan and Dean song: the little old lady from Pasadenaaaaaaaa!) I, unfortunately did what unhealthy men seem to do: I pushed it deep down and forgot about it until the unwanted revisions (this time stoked by a visual thing) rose to the surface in a myriad of emotions-mostly sadness, shame and regret s.

Will that baseball card still exist in 50 years? I haven't a clue...I will be long dead, but I do know that the future owner will never know about the history behind it, or the two lovers sharing popcorn and playing footsie on that sticky theater floor while the card sat with us as the projector whirred overhead. The inanimate object of paper ephemera with the mustachioed man and his scrawl would be forever unvoiced about where it had been in that darkened room with two people sharing a silence. A single, thin and insignificant piece of cardboard beingheld in the purse of a girl who once loved a boy and who once loved her back, fetched from the connected mailbox.

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