June 2, 2021:

His life-long need to compete — to be better than others — and his predatory need to dominate each followed from the childhood ostracism consequent on not having a father. In the insular, conservative Danish community I'm driving through as I dictate this into my phone.

His competition was ferocious. I have a team photo: he and his peers in semi-pro softball uniforms, on the bleachers lit by game lights. The others look like regular guys. He looks like a caged lion.

It's still there, in portraits taken a lifetime later. The predatory glare. Like a bird of prey surveying the landscape.

He was a phenomenal athlete. Truly a prodigy. I imagine he willed himself into it, over years of ostracism and isolation.