"Baseball, relationships, jobs, anything that ever went wrong—I'm 50 or 51 percent to blame, and that's a low-end estimate. I don't really think the reason I didn't make the big leagues had to do with hair or being a rebel. To be honest, I never felt like I deserved to make it. I never felt I was good enough.
"But I'm glad I made my stand, even if it didn't seem to make any difference. You've got to go on faith, because you hardly ever get to see your seeds become trees. Someone can be influenced by how you walked down the street, and you'll never even know it.
"My life's been great in ways people won't understand. I still like waking up each morning. Just by waking up, you got another shot at a miracle. And, damn, I got some stories."
Darkness was falling as I moved toward my car. He was looking at the sky, telling me that the meteors would shower again that night. Something in the way he said it made it feel like an invitation, and I paused, thinking how much I'd love to lie in a lawn chair all night, singing backup to Splish Splash and watching billion-year-old cosmic fragments burn and die.
In a hotel room an hour away, my wife and children were waiting for me to return to eat dinner. I said goodbye, got into the car and backed away, watching the Christmas star and the giant OH F—-. I headed down the long private lane, to the country road, to the highway, to the interstate.