April 12, 2005

The Fan

All his life he rooted for a losing team. It wasn’t that they were a bad team—they had good players, some of the best now and then, but always something derailed their quest for the championship, a crucial player got injured, a reliable man made a flukey misplay, a touted newcomer didn’t pan out, and the newspapers grew nasty and the atmosphere in the locker room got ugly and they secretly began to play for their teammates’ undoing.

Still he was faithful. He watched every single game for forty years. He filled his home with pennants and autographs. Finally in the last year of his life, a roster that did not at first seem especially auspicious began to play better than any of its predecessors: they played as a unit, they played for each other, they had fun, they didn’t let losses upset them nor wins either. Lying on his deathbed he watched his last game, the game that won them the championship.

“My life has meant something,” he gasped victoriously, dying.