Real and Unreal Life

“How’s your life in Brazil going Robbie?”

Last night was our first Skype session with Rob. It’s was great to see him, though he was overly pixellated (though sober). The audio was pretty choppy, and we needed him to repeat certain things, which aggravated him as the conversation went on. Robbie’s amazing; he’s adjusted so well.

Nate had been telling me all week he would Skype with us and tell Robbie funny things. After Karen and I talked for a while, Nate made his way into the computer room.

“Nate, it’s Rob,” I told him.

With that the big galoot plopped down on my lap and asked the question that started this post. It was a wonderfully surprising, well delivered, appropriate and clearly thought out. Rob said he was doing good, and then Nate launched into a few bits of nonsense.

When we were at the airport, Robbie was on his laptop looking to change the time zone. Nate tried to type some gibberish that went like this:

“time zone jt5555555555jpg.” Nate’s been giggling about that ever since.

Nate went on to talk about other silliness: Johnny Test, vomiting, Joey’s space book, etc.

Robbie laughed a lot. I think being away, even if for ten days, made Rob miss Nate’s gibberish in a funny, wistful way. Nate has a way of boring into your heart, and, though it’s sometimes easy to take him for granted, or, in Robbie’s case, be annoyed or embarrassed by him, he’s fun to be around. For me, it was great to see two brothers interact in their own way.

*****           *****              *****

Last night I had a dream. I was in Professor Lauber’s class. She’s been a teacher of Nate’s, as well as his adviser. It was a big classroom and she was talking about a particular design program. While today’s students were not required to learn the computer language for programming, and the program she was lecturing about was very user-friendly in its functionality, it was still required to teach the math behind the language. Why? I don’t know; it was a dream, and that’s what she said.

Now, I was always a great student, but in this dream I was totally lost. Karen believes it was another installment of “me as Nate”(See Upon Further Review for more on that theme). To me, it touched on the frustrations I’ve been feeling in every facet of my life lately and I woke up feeling lousy.

Either way, it works out to be the same thing.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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