I Was Huge in Taiwan—For Two Months
I was a zoo volunteer when my boyfriend became a star pitcher for Taiwan's version of the Yankees. But when I traveled to visit him, I might as well have been Kim Kardashian.
Illustration by Jackie Ferrentino
Barely coming up to my waist, the little boy approached me — head down, eyes up, arms out — in one tiny hand a Sharpie and in the other a pristine white baseball, the kind made for showing, not throwing. No words were necessary; I knew what he wanted — my signature on that ball. The kid’s request shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did; similar events had been happening since my arrival in Taiwan weeks earlier and my unwarranted appearances on the evening news.
I should have been thrilled; someone wanted my autograph! All those years practicing on brown paper bag book covers and in Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers were finally paying off! But as a young daydreamer, no one tells you the first time someone asks for your autograph that it’s going to be on a small cowhide sphere, not a manageable sheet of wide-ruled loose-leaf. I hadn’t trained for this!
I cupped the ball in my left hand, turning it in my fingers as if I was looking for an ideal spot between…