The First World Pit of Hell

It has many stories

I wasn’t close to my father, who was a rather opaque person. He wasn’t unkind — I mean, he didn’t have any malicious thoughts toward me, just a kind of a vague indifference. Eventually, I started to feel the same, even forgetting for years at a time that even he existed. One day, out of tremendous boredom, I decided to stalk him on the internet, and there was only one thing: a news interviewer asking him why he thought the water in the port near his home was so green. He didn’t really know, but remembered swimming in the muck as a small boy, thinking nothing of it. I was instantly regretful and ashamed of this action, as he was never even slightly concerned if my life was filled with laughter, love, or deep purpose–a few moments of internet searching constituted too much effort on my part.

Many hours later I was a little (majorly) tipsy and tired of swimming in the salty sea of regret and memories when I did what anybody in that situation does–I turned to internet consumer therapy. I have been a Nordstroms credit card holder for several years now and have always had good standing on my account, so I decided to buy a brand new A’s cap since I had worn the same one since 2010. I spent nearly 30 minutes placing an order only for it to be canceled 5 minutes later. I then spent 30 minutes on the phone with an operator who decided I should restart the entire process again. In conclusion, I decided to stick with the soiled, banged-up cap I’ve had since 2010. I had a guy spill an expensive, local, craft-brewed, 15 dollar beer on it in Seattle trying to catch a foul ball in what could be called a mosh pit within a legion of outstretched hands, and you can’t replicate those types of lovely memories. (In the end, yours truly caught that ball)

Please accept our apology for the inconvenience.” At times that feels like a representation of what I feel about the world and how I’ve observed the mechanics of reality: but it was only a baseball cap they were speaking of. I decided to rate them 1 star and thought it was amusing how we are constantly rating things on a five-star scale: from movies, hotels, Uber drivers, Amazon gift cards, and even The Statue of Liberty. (How do you rate her?) This has just been one of those days. It feels like a game of MadLibs where you are sort of blindly filling in the blanks and hoping it makes sense in the end. There is a keen sense of raw honesty and ironic detachment filling me as the sun beats down like a goofy friend with a Peter Tosh record, a pat on the back, and some words of encouragement.

18 thoughts on “The First World Pit of Hell

  1. Chris

    2 and 1/2 stars for the Statue of Liberty. It’s too big when you’re in front of it, but too small to be impressive when you’re back in lower Manhattan.

  2. retrosimba

    I rate your post 5 stars. One of the most difficult writing forms is first person, because to do it well, the wrter needs to hold nothing back, yet do so in a way that makes the reader care. I can’t do it well (it’s why I write about others). You do it quite well. Keep going and keep experimenting with the craft.

  3. Corkywk

    At least Lady Liberty isn’t being threaten by statue-hating minority righteous-groups offended by some past reference. Well, at least not yet!

      1. Corkywk

        Statue cleansing has become a big thing here in Canada. Calls for removal of dedicated statues, once revered, now shamed for having long ago ties to slavery, racism, bigotry, you name it! It’s crazy, because that was what society was like back then, even today there are no perfect pasts, no unblemished human beings. Christ, even my statue (if I had one) would be torn down in disgust if they learned of my past! 😈 Lol!

  4. Steve Myers

    Great piece Gary…Thanks for sharing that bit about your father. I can only imagine how nerve wracking that must have been to look him up. I’m glad you kept the old A’s hat. Those are impossible to replace because, as you pointed out, the beer spill memory and I’m sure many others. Great to hear you caught that foul ball!


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