Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Mysterious Occupant of Floor 45

"Be thee Met or be thee not?" asked Pops the doorman as a man shrouded by a veil that fell from a fedora over his face.

"Oh, I'm Met, I'm Met. I'm kind of a new thing. I'm from nowhere, sometime between today and five thousand years I'll vanish and reappear somewhere else. At least that's how I'll experience it. Sometimes I imagine I'm like an unconscious salmon, blindly fighting the tide, waking up at the top of the mountain and having no idea how I got there. Y'know?"

"I know enough to know Mets. You're Met. Say, Robert, I still have the key to the 45th floor here. Don't you need it?"

"I'll get in," said R.A. Dickey as he boarded the elevator.

The knuckleball is generally not explained properly. The usual explanation involves the ball's lack of spin that makes it interact with the air in ways that pitchers can't predict. The truth is that there are people, it's difficult to say how many, who find various quantum elements to navigable. Where most of us see blind consequence, they see a navigable terrain. Some of them are scientists. Others are artists. A number of them are considered insane. Many are all three. A few of them are knuckleballers.

By reducing the spin of a ball to almost nothingness, its position in space-time becomes fuzzy. After a moment, it "decides" on a more definite location, and it is this temporary indecision followed by the choice that causes the characteristic unpredictable change in direction. Knuckleballers can use these abilities to do things like shimmer through doors or to feel like you are where you are, but also somewhere far away. Perhaps a familiar place. Knuckleballers are sentimental types.

R.A. Dickey stepped out onto the 45th floor balcony. He looked at the shoe that he was not wearing. He tried to move his finger through the sole, but it would not go. "Where did I get these shoes?" he asked himself. "I'm sure glad I did, they're just about the only thing I can't just buzz through." Just to reprove his abilities to himself, he made his exact point in space unexact and moved through the wall to his apartment. Once he was on the other side, he better defined where he was, and poured himself some spinach juice.

Recently, the team had rode an airplane as they so often do. Airplane rides are often stressful to quantum types such as Robert Alan, and it was only now that he was getting the chance to relax as he liked to. He put on some dreamy music, kicked back in the large beach chair in his living room, and made everything about his current state certain except for which reality he occupied. He didn't know much about the other realities, but he always felt refreshed when he returned to his own.

"You pitched a good game against the Orioles," said a friendly lizard who wasn't really there.

"Thanks," said Dickey.

"You're sure they don't mind that I hang out on the mound when you pitch?"

"Not at all. To them you don't exist, and I could use the company."

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