Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 67

Lifestyle down at the last hurdle time and time again . The names of my baseball heroes stand out in my mind like Greek gods : Ramirez , Lofton , Thome . Their flaws were my flaws ; their achievements , mine as well .

When they lost the 1995 World Series , I buried my face in my grandmother ’ s carpet , tears streaming down my cheeks . Uncle Jeff sat next to me with wet eyes , too . Even as an adult , I ’ ve continued to rhapsodize about winning the World Series . Above all other sporting events , I desired — and feared — an Indians victory the most . The distance now between us did not help soften my anxiety . The longer I spent away from home , the more apparent the pitfalls of a long-distance sports relationship became . Try as you might to catch sexy live streams or satellite sportscasts , nothing beats the real thing .
As the Indians marched through the playoffs in October , dispatching far superior squads with a ragtag group of nobodies , fear gripped me . By the time we reached the middle of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs , I was downright panicky . How had we gotten this far ? Had LeBron ’ s win changed everything ? Was Cleveland now a sporting juggernaut ? More importantly , could I live through another victory without Uncle Jeff ?
At that moment , a dark thought entered my mind : I didn ’ t want my team to win .
In the early hours of a steamy morning in early November , I sat with a fellow lost baseball fan , Kristin , in a run-down
Bangkok sports bar to watch the final game against the Chicago Cubs . She was a Cubs fan and moving back to the American Midwest in just one week .
As it turned out , she was one week too late .
The last out was a soft ground ball . Third baseman Kris Bryant gloved it and made a perfect throw to first . It was a routine but devastating loss for the Indians .
The following minutes passed in a blur . Astonished Chicago revelers bumped into each other in frantic disbelief . But the yelping soon ebbed , and within seconds a crowd that had been brought together briefly into an excited mass returned to being individual strangers once more .
Kristin dabbed her eyes and sat motionless . We had nothing to say to each other . What could be said , after