42. Douglas Adams’ answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything.
42. The uniform number of America’s pastime’s greatest civil rights story.
42. The race to the twenty-first birthday, twice.
For over four decades, I have traveled upon this large rock, witnessing starving children, maimed crusaders, failing heartbeats. I’ve been subjected to triumphant joy and met unparalleled determination, experienced success and failure. In my time, I’ve wept and shrieked and envied and boasted. I’ve felt sorrow and elation, courage and fear, panic and pressure. Over the years, I’ve consumed dark chocolate and burnt snake, octopus and alligator, sparrow and sturgeon. A spider’s small fang has entered my skin and I’ve been pricked by a metal needle. I’ve flown 30,000 feet above the planet and dived desperately beneath twenty-foot waves. There have been moments when a single glance has caused me to recoil, to dance, to fret, to yearn. I have felt cool winds upon my cheek and warm skin beneath my hands. The wild roar of a waterfall has breached my ears and a woman’s whisper once conquered my reason. While French wines and marinara sauces have crossed my lips, a cabin fire’s smoke has tickled my nose. My head has felt the cruel rigidness of homeless cement and nestled in the supple softness of a sympathetic pillow. The actions of a child have inspired me as much as an old man’s antics have moved me to boredom. When I was younger I adored aspirations, and as time passed, I’ve relished in recollections. Love embraced me, in the form of a parent, a pet, a woman, a friend, a novel, a film, a rising moon and a setting sun, a moment of personal introspection, and for country. I’ve lived in my own personal space, in rental space, in space I own, in the space of a moment, in cyberspace, and for a brief instant in the space-time continuum. During this life, I’ve been as small as a kidney bean and larger than a trash can, felt grander than an ocean and smaller than a mouse. The words of poets have dragged me to despair and lifted me into profundity. Inside my head, my mind has been placid and frenetic. I have competed and succumbed and testified and fallen upon silence’s sword.