The first occurred a little over a week ago with Jon Lester on the mound for the Red Sox. Lester was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma two years ago; he fought through the chemo and returned to the Sox last year. He pitched the clinching game of the World Series last year. This year, he has showed better command of his pitches, which is encouraging.
So anyway, I was in the library studying for a final, following Lester and the Sox game on the internet. After four innings, I noticed he had yet to give up a hit, which made me excited because it meant he would be able to go deep into the game and rest the bullpen. After six innings, a no-hitter started to look possible. Lester seemed to be getting stronger as the game wore on -- he was more guys out, and hardly anyone was making good contact off him.
I didn't dare leave my seat for fear of jinxing it, as I am superstitious when it comes to baseball. When my buddy Pete shaved his "playoff beard" last year during the miraculous Red Sox comeback, I admit I was worried. So I texted Malerie, told her to turn on the game on TV, and that I would be a little late for dinner. Yes I realize this is strange.
But Lester did it! For the last out, he reached back for a little extra and threw some 97-mph gas for a strikeout. No-hitters are so rare anyway, and for it to happen to Lester, coming back from cancer, was just awesome. A week later, he revealed that his dad has been diagnosed with cancer, as well. Guy's been through a lot.
So that was experience numero uno. Number two came last week on Friday.Finals week was over, and I got home while Malerie was out with her family. With the house to myself, the only logical thing to do was to crank up the amp and become a Guitar Hero. I ripped off a face-melting rendition of "Welcome to the Jungle," and followed that up with some tasty licks from Queens of the Stone Age and Poison. My fingers flew like a bluebird over the toy plastic guitar. Just like Lester, on that day, I had my good stuff. Not as good as this guy, but still:
The quest for perfection began as I fired up "My Name is Jonas" by Weezer. 596 perfect notes later, I had done it. Some of those riffs had tripped me up before, but not this time. I was in the zone.