Death of a Sox Fan: northsiderepresent


"Fuck" has been declared, by many people, over the last 36-or-so hours.

Gonna try and keep it together here, but from what I’ve read on other web logs, South Side Sox has seen more-traffic’d days, and this depressing shit ain’t gonna help. Oh well; the betters of yous will recall northsiderepresent. Sarah died yesterday, Thursday, in the hospital, out of the blue.

I met my friend Sarah, northsiderepresent as she was known here, back in 2013 it had to be. There was a meet-up, and somehow we connected through text, and I encouraged her to join us. She opted out of the game, and the crowd ended up at another SSSer’s place for the after-after party. She declined that, too. She was anxious and nervous around unknown folks, and rightly so. As I would learn, Sarah was very private and discriminate. We both lived in Logan Square at the time, though, so me and her eventually met up at Bob Inn to watch a game. Sooner rather than later we became fast friends.

A couple years later a group of us went to Opening Day: UD, nsr, Trooper, billyok, Rhubarb, SouthSideExpat. We were all friends already, but nothing binds like the beginning of a Sox season. We started texting each other constantly after Opening Day; at one point billyok woke up with something like 150 new text messages: "This cannot continue." So South Side Sox Black, name taken from a larry-type in-joke, SSSB, was born on gchats. We were bound very quickly. We still shared all the personal stuff all of the time, but now had the option to mute during, ya know, court dates or sleep periods. Boring, who cares. Sarah was a glue; SSSB loves everyone, but especially Sarah. We are still a tight-knit text community, but now we are, devastatingly, down our best.

This is South Side Sox. Sarah was the kindest, gentlest Sox fan ever to roam these parts, any parts, internet or Real Life. She hated Cubs fans, but if she ever said that out loud she’d make seven qualifications, maybe depending on the person, and apologize for having hated anything ever. Gentle surely doesn’t mean weak, though. Sarah, whilst being probably the most empathetic person I’ve ever had the joy of knowing, dealt with barrels of shit on the daily. She stood up to the dredgery and indignity of common living by simply being a wonderful human all the way around. She understood that all pain is real pain, and that every person deserves, at the very least, an ear. After listening carefully, she would take your side. Even her Cubs-fan friends gave her credit for this. Then she would share her thoughts, and sometimes a jaw could be heard hitting the floor; how can one person convey such empathy and understanding and patience, yet also be so darkly funny and optimistic? Only if you pried would you know the demons Sarah had faced, and there were no more downplayed demons than hers.

For me, in my life to this point, there is quite literally no higher honor than to call Sarah my friend. I moved to NYC a few years ago, but I did see her every time I went home to Chicago. She was often my outlet for my plethora of problems, which is so damn selfish; I only hope that I was able to assuage her pain in a way commensurate with how she helped me completely. We stayed in touch constantly, SSSB fueling much of that, but our alikeness shining through. As mentioned, I made it a point to see her. Sarah was the goddamned best.

Let us remember how much Sarah loved the White Sox. She frequented bars where the Sox would surely be on the TV; it was a requirement. She wasn’t stats-minded, but trusted the science and the minds behind how baseball operates, though, thankfully, "fun" registered high. Sarah loved the Sox, but she also, as the rest of us should, just loved good baseball.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Sarah was incredibly bright, well-read about everything, inquistive, loving of all knowledge. Sarah would blow your ears away with her understanding and recitation of literature, her impeccable taste in music from every decade starting in 1750, and, well, aesthetics in general. Sarah knew what looked, tasted and sounded good. She gave and she gave, even and especially towards those that wouldn’t favor her for anything.Sarah was a Sox fan because of her dad; she was raised right, and everything went wrong. Sarah was a baseball fan because, come on, we all love the smell of fresh-cut grass and sauages cooking, we love the players taking the field, our heros, we love the players themselves, humans doing the Lord’s work, entertaining us when almost nothing else will. Sarah was a survivor in only the best ways ever until she wasn’t.

My friend Sarah, Sox fan, will be so inside-twistingly missed by anyone that knew her for three minutes or more.

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