Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin wrote what may be the saddest song ever.
And it's not too often I feel like hanging up my cleats.
But last week, for any number of reasons, I felt like punching that big time-clock in the sky for the final time.
I thought about my baseball hero, catcher Red Traphagen, who played for the great New York Mammoth teams on the 1950s. Traphagen split open a finger having caught badly a fastball. With not much more precipitant than a normal amount of pain, Traphagen returned to the Mammoth dugout and said simply to his manager, Dutch Schnell, "That is sufficient." With that, he quit the club and that was that.
In other words, he had had enough. Like I had. Enough of work. Enough of people. Enough, even, of writing in this space.
Of course, the stock market faltered last week. Dropping my life's investment in equities by a sad and staggering amount. Did that keep me from pulling a Traphagen? From closing the MacBook Pro and proclaiming this "my final inning."
I thought about the words above in the title, the Italian. They're the last words the great Leonardo wrote in his famous mirror script in the last of his notebooks.
I thought about the bullshit, of course. But I thought more of the joy and exhilaration I get from work. Of the work I want to do, of the people who rely on me, and the people I rely on. I thought even of the love I have of the people, the job, the client and the agencies.
So, I have two potential endings to this sad tale. Traphagen's, which I'm not quite yet ready to say, and Leonard's above.
"Perché la minestra si fredda."
"Whatever, the soup is getting cold."