The month of June is referred to as “June Gloom” in Los Angeles because a great fog layer rolls into the valley and stays there, keeping temperatures down and casting a greyish pall over an otherwise terribly sunny place. Angelenos get very unhappy when there is no sun. I am not such a sun lover, and live in the dark most of the time, because it hurts my eyes. My eyes are those of a chronic migraineur. I left LA for more northern CA climes this January, hoping for silence, less sun, and less noise.
June gloom is how I am feeling today, June 1st. It is the first day of Migraine Awareness Month. I started the month with a 4am wake-up migraine, that at 6pm PDT, is still with me, ever strong and not showing signs of abating any time soon. This would not be so annoying had not just finished my last 60 hour bout on May 29th. After a day of rest from fatigue of all that pain, I had a good day on the 31st, but am now back in the throes of it again.
The Murphy Park Little League field is just across the street from my apartment. Most days I try to ignore the loudspeaker announcing the next person at bat. I put in extra ear plugs, and hope I can keep the sound muffled. During the regular season there were 1 and then 2 games every night during the week as the days got longer. Saturday held the promise of 4 games. On Sunday we rested. That was until we had the spring rains, and makeup games to play. The Sunday game scheduled make up games missed during the rains, when we had with no baseball, rain pelting the asphalt, greening the field, and then the silence unmistakable of fresh air after a storm, plants full from water, and no other sound.
Other than those respites, all spring, the call from the ball field has been constant, as are my migraines. Now that the playoffs have started, the crowds are getting louder and larger. The local TV stations are coming in to watch as the playoffs go to the round of sixteen for each league. There are 3 leagues -the Minis, the Minors and the Majors. The Minis are really young and use a pitching machine. Not so the Minors and the Majors. They throw the ball hard and fast, and practice every day of the week before the games start. As much as I try, I cannot drown out the loudspeakers, the cheering teams, the crowds of proud parents and sponsors, the smell of hot dogs, popcorn and all the other things that go with baseball – even Little League baseball.
I admit I have a favorite team. It was clear at the beginning of the season that they were a good team. In their first game, they beat the other team by 17 to 2. I heard a chance remark from the coach telling the team to root for the losing team to give them more confidence. “It is difficult to go on playing innings when you are so far behind. So tell the players when the do something well, to help them learn and get through the game.” They continued to do this all season, as they continued to beat all of their opponents.
There is a girl on the team, Christina, who is the first base player. She is a smart and thinks about where to throw the ball after she makes her out. She hits too, and can knock a few out of the park. She has been fun to watch when I can get out to see a game. This is team is the team to beat. They have lost only 1 game this year. That lost game went to the first team they played at the start of the season. If they had to lose to any team, that team had come the farthest since their 1st game rount. It was a great game too, and I don’t think the losers really minded so much.
I am working on keeping my private June Gloom on my side of the street, especially when my team plays. In spite of all my pain, watching their games from my porch, or taking my dog out and to see them play from behind the outfield fence helps me forget my pain, and cheer for the runs batted in and the cool outs made by the pitcher.
Everyone has to have someone to root for. So I root for them and hope they win the championship this year. If they knew I was having chronic pain from migraines, I think they would root for me, to lift my gloom. They are that kind of team.