Something surprised me today. I found myself sorry for Barry Bonds.
This isn't something I thought would happen anytime soon. The man is arrogant, to the point where you could legitimately call him cruel. He's unquestionably a cheat, and he has tainted two of the most significant records in Major League baseball by taking illegal steroids in order to inflate his home run totals. Not only has he not shown remorse for this, he continues to refuse to admit it, even in the face of a perjury investigation and a mountain of evidence of his own guilt.
And then I caught myself thinking, "But whether he admits it or not, he'll always know."
I thought about what that must be like. To have finally gotten so furious at the cheaters and juicers that you decided to join them, to have the most prestigious records in the history of the sport as a result...and to know that they're not really yours. To have to know, every time you hit a home run, that it's not your natural skill and talent, that it's not something you can be proud of the same way you were proud of your home runs before you started juicing, to have caged yourself so thoroughly in lies that your triumphs have turned to ashes in your mouth and be trapped by that knowledge...
Barry Bonds will always know he cheated. I'd hate to have to live with that. And yeah, I do feel sorry for him, having to live with that. I still don't like him, but I can pity him, even if I suspect he doesn't want that.