Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Reunion fell a little flat

I don't know if you are aware world, but I worked at a batting cage in SODO Seattle for about 5 years before becoming unemployed this past year. My old boss at Strikezone is a great guy, but he basically ran the business into the ground. In fact, I am quite impressed with how long he actually managed to keep the doors open! Well, I did everything down at the batting cage... from answering phones and doing my homework to giving baseball lessons and coaching a select team. My boss for the team I coached still owes me some money, and tonight I made my fateful reunion with Strikezone so that I could try and get paid...

Now Strikezone was a huge part of my life. In fact, my entire teenage years were spent within its glorious walls. I would hit there everyday. I started my own sporting goods business down there. I became well acquainted with the 'usual' customers, and Stikezone seemed to have an aura around it that I can't exactly explain. It was like a second home for me. Whenever things were great or horrible in my teenage years, I always had Strikezone as a getaway. I could write a book about everything that I learned and saw in my time down there. I miss the people, and the baseball...

Now at a glance, Strikezone hasn't changed much. The unfinished staircase has been painted battleship gray. All of the signs have been taken down and the furniture has been rearranged. The l-screens still have holes in them, and the pitching machine is still broken. However in my own little world, EVERYTHING had changed.

First of all, it's no longer called Strikezone. All of the usual customers are no longer around. All of the personalities that made it such a comfortable and inviting atmosphere are gone. There are no longer any walk in appointments, so the only people who show up are on teams. Seeing as I am the desk person and I'm not employed, they don't have anybody to greet you when you walk in. The walls that I painted are still the same. The turf that I rolled out is still there, and still green. The broken Iron Mike that I pieced back together with my own blood, sweat, and a few curse words is still an attention whore. However everything that made Strikezone a home for me is gone. Perhaps I am giving away the ending of my soon to be Pulitzer Prize winning book, but I now realize that it was the people who made Strikezone important in my life. Funny how I grew to love the 'thing', when in reality I loved the relationships that the 'thing' brought into my life.


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