Home Run Derby

Toronto Blue Jays

It’s rare for me to feel excited anymore. Fatigue from work, chronic pain, and the pandemic mean that my current happiness comes from predictable places; the Blue Jays on our television, hang outs with the besties, cozy moments at home, or shows and movies that remind me of emotions I haven’t felt in a while. So it’s felt very strange the last few weeks as I’ve felt so excited leading up to last night’s plans, a baseball game catch up with someone I adore.

When my “old friend / ex lover / first person I called Daddy, (even if it was very briefly) and meant it” followed me on Instagram back in January 2021 out of nowhere, I was floored. After our very few in person hook-ups, we ended up being pen pls for years, sending occasional catch-up emails until around the beginning of 2018 when we just sort of lost touch.

When we reconnected this past January, I was consumed for a while with just the memories of our time together. It was also a very welcome distraction from the constant news about the recent insurrection. Talking to him felt odd, like I had to prove to him that I could be interesting again, after feeling like a boring chronically ill burden to all for so long. He made me feel so important way back when, while simultaneously insecure. It’s hard to explain if you’ve never felt overcome with kinky submission with someone. That overwhelming feeling of wanting to do your best, to impress, to be a “good girl”; it might lay dormant for a long while, but it never really goes away. I knew that I could hang out with him now and still find myself doing whatever he might tell me to do. 

He’s in town from his new home in Europe for a month, visiting with friends and family. We were discussing his trip on the ‘gram one day and I casually mentioned that if he wanted to go to a ball game while here, that I would be very happy to take him. Of course I assumed that, as he hadn’t been in the country for a while and had lots of important people to catch up with, he’d be far too busy to waste an evening on me. I was mistaken! Not only did he accept, but he kept telling me how excited he was in the days and weeks leading up to last night’s game.

I arrived early last night to meet him at the gate. It was a yucky humid day, and I have a heart thing, so the last thing I wanted was my first impression, after such a long time, to be sweaty and out of breath. Thankfully, I so rarely feel nervous or anxious anymore in life but, as I sat there waiting for him, I most definitely was. I kept looking in every direction, not knowing where he would be coming from. The anticipation was killing me, but when he finally arrived and we saw each other, he jogged over to me and gave me a huge hug. Talk about comforting! We had to deal with showing our vaccine status and getting inside, and then it was time to reconnect.

At first we wandered around the 100 level, catching up and talking about where things were at with his girlfriend as they had been rocky a few weeks prior. It felt lovely to continue the conversation in person and to hear that they’re likely in a better place than they were. (Hey, I can feel compersion sometimes!) He offered to buy me a drink and, even though I’ve had maybe 7 drinks total in ALL of 2021, I very much felt like I needed one! I awkwardly gulped that fruity “Rainbow Surprise” Palm Bay while we pulled over and chatted at the top of the 100 level for a while, before going down to our seats.

Y’all know how I feel about baseball. The Skydome is my favourite place right now in the city to go to, though in fairness I don’t really go anywhere else that’s not for work. Watching my beisbol boys do what they do best in person is always a guaranteed great time. Considering how well the Jays have been hitting lately, I was excited to watch another hopefully amazing game and also to share it with someone who hadn’t been at the stadium in years. We headed down to our seats, me feeling very nervous and yet also delighted that he was following me down. When he last saw me I looked like a different person, so I was extremely conscious of every movement I was making. 

It wasn’t a date. It couldn’t be a date, and yet … it very much felt like a date? As we headed down the stairs, getting closer and closer to Row 12, I could hear him behind me remarking “Wait, you’re still going?” and of course I was; I don’t fuck around when it comes to baseball and good seats anymore. And I definitely don’t fuck around when it comes to entertaining people I care about. If I’m planning something for you, it will be grand! Well, as grand as my chronically ill self can manage, but still grandish.

We got into our seats and, since I wanted to be close to the dugout, it wasn’t the socially distanced section. There were people in every direction, but somehow after a while I didn’t notice. All I could pay attention to was the fact that he was so close to me, our faces a foot apart when we turned to talk to each other. With the first drink starting to take hold, I felt a bit dizzy … emotionally? He was excited about the game, and of course so was I, but it hadn’t really hit me that we were there together until, well, we were there … together. 

Every now and then I would look around at the almost 15,000 people in the stadium around us. I would find myself surprised that there was anyone there at all because I was so focused on us. Other people just blurred into each other. Both the Jays and the opposing Tampa Bay Rays were wearing their dark blue jerseys and my brain could barely distinguish between them. I was in a daze; both completely present and a part of the very easy and natural conversation we were having, while also internally freaking the eff out. It was honestly the nicest high and I’m grateful for it.

We talked about so many things from our partners to ADHD, a subject he’s very open and knowledgable about. About our families and work and really a bit of everything. We talked about the time he showed up at a January Sucks party and spanked me in the basement. In my mind, I had “dragged you down there and made you spank me”. I’ve held onto this memory that I was pushy and whiny and that he did it to shut me up. I’m not sure why I ever felt that, but he was very quick to correct me that he was very happy to be there. To hear his enthusiasm erase my years of doubt was extremely comforting.

We made jokes about my Daddy issues, we both felt flirty, we complimented each other’s existence, hotness, and ability to be around. I leaned in close to him and felt so comfortable and confident. More than that, I felt validated. I always tell myself that people from my past must not think fondly of me. If they did, wouldn’t we be in touch more? I’ve become a very confident person in my old age but still I sometimes hold onto the beliefs from my youth that I am forgettable. That people only like me because I show my enthusiasm for them so eagerly. I can be an excellent confidence booster. And if that man needed any validation about his smile, his personality, his looks, his entire BEING, girl I could’ve given it all to him. It’s been years but I swear I would’ve done anything he said last night. 

And it’s not that I’m holding onto a vision of a Daddy I’ve placed on a pedestal for years and that I’m not seeing who he is as a real person. It’s his real self that I’m looking at and he is so many things. He is kind, vulnerable, open, generous, honest, caring, direct, funny, and, dare I say, gentle? He’s smart but interested in learning. He knows his value but doesn’t act like the biggest ego in the room. He’s everything I want to be around, and let’s be real, he’s really fucking hot too.

He’s someone that in another lifetime I would have tried to marry, and there’s both a sadness and a contentment in that. I remember my Mum telling me years ago about someone from her past where “the timing was just never right”, but she always felt these intense feelings whenever they’d be able to reconnect through the years. It’s not my place to say whether or not he would ever feel those feelings about me in another lifetime, but I certainly feel them about him. It was nice to realize last night that it wasn’t just because he played my Daddy for a very short time. That was maybe the match, but it wasn’t the whole story of the flame. 

The Jays game, which was sadly not the big hitter spectacle I had promised him, ended early around 9:30. If this was the only time we get to spend together before .. maybe never seeing each other again (??) I couldn’t end the night so early. It was just so easy to talk, to share, and to be around each other that we both agreed we should find somewhere else to keep chatting. (And that’s saying something, considering how pained I usually am, but somehow that took a backseat last night as well).

I drove for a bit and we ended up at Montauk, a bar on the east side of Dundas and Bathurst. The patio was covered and just lively enough. He sat down and, as I went to sit across from him, he moved to the seat to the left of me instead. Little movements and moments like that throughout the evening meant the world. When you grow up as a fat person, it’s easy to be aware of how much other people want (or don’t want) to show that they’re “with” you, whether it’s friendly or romantic, and his lack of hesitation in this regard was another disarming feature. It might be a silly and obvious thing to say, but, well, it’s really nice when someone you like enjoys your company as well.

We shared some yummy snacks and talked more for almost 2 hours. He shared more info about his romantic life, as did I. It was so easy, comforting, and absolutely lovely. The lightning showed up and not long after the pouring rain, so during a moment of drizzle only, we ran to the car. I drove him back to his friend’s place in Kensington, we talked a little more and then hugged goodbye. We made tentative plans to hang out early next week and I really hope we do, but again I won’t go into it with any expectations. And if it doesn’t happen, that’ll have to be ok too.

When I got home I felt … great? Content but also confused? Overwhelmed? Like I was floating? It’s hard to describe. He and I are something that never really was and can never ever be, but the connection still feels very important to me. I hadn’t realized how alike we actually are and it was just another high point to realize that as well.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit lost. Still happy, feeling wonderful, but also wistful. I haven’t “dated” anyone in such a long time and life has become so focused on practical, domestic things – and of course lately pandemic and pain crap. It felt strange to sit with someone who self-identifies as a hopeless romantic, like me. When he told me that’s how he identifies that way my heart both rose and sank. So close, but so far. 

When I did date more, I was constantly living a life of wistful, kinky romance. I can be in my feelings for weeks at a time, almost intentionally making myself feel longing for the possibilities of other lives, other universes, while still being very happy at home. It’s why I had my heart broken many times. When I fall, I feel deep. To be momentarily reminded of that has been thrilling, comforting, but truthfully also a little melancholy.

So I’m doing the thing, and sitting here in my very big feelings. While there are some sad ones in there, there’s also a lot of joy, confidence, validation, and care. And like, ok sure a side of lust because, hi, I’m still Samantha and he’s still fine AF. 🙂

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