Mike Moustakas thinking about his heritage (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Michael Christopher Moustakas's eyes scanned the last two words in Gravity's Rainbow and sat back against his locker, gazing both nowhere and anywhere all at once. After a few minutes thinking about Gottfried's final emphatic ride in Rocket 00000, he walked across the locker room and into Kevin Seitzer's office, proffering the 760-page tome to his sensei and exchanging a knowing glance.
"Thanks, Coach," said Moustakas, adding, "you were right."
Seitzer nodded sagely and without words turned and placed the book back in its place on his shelf.
As Moustakas about-faced and walked back through the locker room, still thinking on Thomas Pynchon's magnum opus, Jeff Francoeur sat with a silent Mitch Maier cackling uncontrollably while watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Moustakas went back to his locker with a sense of shame washing over him.
His mind rushed back to Spring Training when he selected Middlesex for their book club selection. With the precondition in place that no one could have already read the book, he foolishly took the Pulitzer Prize it won and its Greek subjects to be encouraging signs and thought that Eugenides's novel would give him opportunity to show the guys a little bit about his people. Instead, the world Eugenides had crafted was not large enough, the device by which the narrator could have omniscience was too contrived, and the novel seemed too similar to the unquestionably far superior One Hundred Years of Solitude, which had been Jonathan Broxton's selection two books prior. Perhaps it was, he had thought, foolish to go so contemporary when Zorba the Greek had been his first and admittedly safer choice, but the setting had on Crete ultimately scared him off. Even with just ten players in the book club, it would be November--barring trade--before he could choose another book.
Moustakas sat back down at his locker and tried to block out the loud, largely offensive caricatures playing out on the screen across the room, saddened by his inability to convey the value that Greek culture both modern--current European geopolitical landscape notwithstanding--and ancient still has for the world.
Visions of Vardalosian caricatures swirled in his head. Childhood nightmares of Nick the ludicrous Greek mechanic in Kiss Me Deadly rushed him. The room began to spin.
Mike Moustakas lost consciousness.