It's 2:11am. Or is it? These games on the West Coast, the time difference confuses you. You don't look at your phone. It's enough to know that it's late. The game seems to be over. The Pirates seem to have lost, 5-4. But you're not sure.
You've fallen asleep twice. Or three times? Probably twice. The first time, you woke up and saw a Pirates pitcher issue a walk. The second time, you also saw a Pirates pitcher issue a walk. Maybe you only fell asleep once.
No, twice, you think. The first time it was Francisco Liriano, the second time ... it was on a harder pitch, right? Arquimedes Caminero? And you feel like you were barely conscious, but you seem to remember a very long plate appearance by someone named Jabari Blash that also ended in a walk.
The names, the words, begin to seem fake. It doesn't feel right that your brain is filled with words like these. Caminero. Vogelsong. Schugel. Spangenberg. Rea. John Jaso. Jon Jay. Blash. Blah. Blah. Walk. Balk. Walk. Blah. Freese, but pronounced like "freeze." You feel, suddenly, that these words are conspiring against you, combining to form something incomprehensible.
"Three home runs."
"Where are we," you think. Denver? No, someplace farther west. You aren't sure. It is terribly late.
You were awake for a bit, and then you drifted off again, to words that made even less sense. "Adam Rosales homers to left field." No, that can't be right, you thought. There is no such person. "Adam Rosales" has never existed. And if he has, he has never hit a home run.
But ... wait, you saw it. Maybe? There was, like, a Western Metal building in left field, and that's where it went. But why was there a metals building in left field? And why did it seem to be made of brick?
No, none of this was real. You remember Mark McGwire issuing a challenge at one point. That's just ridiculous. You remember a balk call that was overturned and then un-overturned. It was the third inning and it was, like, 11:45pm or something. You remember Andrew McCutchen looking confused when he scored. You cannot recall having previously seen McCutchen look confused about anything, ever. You remember Rick Sofield being the one who knew what was going on, and McCutchen being the one who didn't. That can't be right.
You remember walks, so many walks. But maybe that was just Jeff Locke's last start or something? Or Francisco Liriano's last start? No, wait, tonight was Francisco Liriano's last start. Right? Has he done this twice now? Has he even had a start where he wasn't walking people all over the place? You can't recall. You're not sure what this means, but you know it isn't good.
You remember the Padres hitting one homer after another. Wil Myers. Derek Norris. Those are real people. Yes, definitely. But "Adam Rosales," no. "Get out of here with your Adam Rosales," you begin to say, your mouth smooshed into a couch cushion, but your words trail off, partially because you're exhausted and partially because you realize this is a dumb sentence to say out loud.
"Where am I," you think, although you know you are home, in Pittsburgh, on your couch, and it is the rest of the world that's running off, not you. The couch, the weird maroon-leather thing you bought at La-Z-Boy three years ago -- that is real. You're confident of that. The feel of the couch -- the texture of it -- is comforting. Your touch confirms that it exists. You think of your ex, and the last time you touched them ... six months ago? Seven? That seems real, but you can't be certain.
You remember Ryan Vogelsong pitching his way out of a jam in the seventh. That seems unlikely. You remember Liriano singling in a run in the fourth, and you feel like that's been happening a lot lately, but that's just stupid. Did you actually hear Bucs Dugout mentioned on the telecast? No, no, come on. That didn't happen.
You realize you're thinking in circles. You call yourself names, harsh ones you'd never call someone else. You wonder why you haven't talked to your ex lately. They are your ex, right? That was, like, a thing? Yes, because you took them to Kennywood in ... June? Last June? With your little brother and his girlfriend? Yes. That happened, you think.