A Red Sox Game with Skip

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Writing a blog with such regularity has replaced the need/desire for keeping a diary, and as such there are certain entries that, selfishly, only I and a few select others will ever understand. That’s the beautiful and infuriating aspect of a personal website which has not yet been monetized: I owe nothing to anyone. Because of that, my recounting of the trip that Skip and I took to see the Red Sox last weekend is going to be light on details, heavy on obscure references, and mostly function as a memory holder for lonelier moments in which I’ll want to look back and remember.

The game itself was more fun than I remember my previous visits being. On the trusted advice of my brother (a risky endeavor at best) we showed up to Lansdowne without any tickets. There were a number of scalpers hawking their wares, so we went up to the second guy we saw (the first was way too shady) and procured two of the “best seats in the house” for $50 a pop. Skip could have talked him down, but it was already 4 PM and the game was slated to start at 4:05 (and they meant it.) This shit was more punctual than a Broadway show. I was impressed. When we sat down a few minutes later they had already begun.

Our seats were much better than either of us had anticipated, and the gorgeous green of real grass glowed in the afternoon sunlight. It was the perfect day for a baseball game, with a light breeze that refreshed as the game wore on. They were playing the Oakland Athletics and soon were up by four. They would retain their lead to win the game, but from what I understand the season has been so lackluster there was less excitement in the air that usual. It made no matter – this marked my first time back to Fenway in a double-decade, and I got to listen to Skip expound upon the game and what was going on. He gamely answered all of my questions, no matter how ridiculous: Why did they all have beards? Who is the fox in the #20 outfit? When do they change their costumes?

At some point in every major sporting event I’ve attended over the years, my mind will wander and ponder the philosophical. Maybe it was sun going down in the West, maybe it was the lull in the sixth inning, or maybe it was the Miller Lite, but I took a moment then to look around at the crowd. Made up mostly of fellow Red Sox fans, many of whom were in red t-shirts supporting their favorite team, they shouted and clapped and root-root-rooted for a common goal. As different as we all were, we were there together, united. After Skip let out a few supportive screams and some good-natured digs at the other team, a guy walked by us and smiled. He paused at Skip, and gave him an exuberant seal of approval: “I LOVE what you’re saying!!”

My heart always swells when I see something like that coming from a stranger. Chances are his delivery was backed by beer (so much was at that point) but it still matters. It still counts. It still reminds me of how we can treat each other, and how good it feels. That sort of affectionate extending of enjoyment is not something that has ever come easily or naturally to me. When I see it, it breaks my heart a little, in the best way.

As for the rest of the weekend, I’ll merely sum it up in a litany of obscurity: The muddled-not-muddled beer-bathing bartender who drove home with a drunk guy in the backseat of her car, the Conquistador/Churrasco, The Elephant Walk and its get-your-own chopsticks, Joanne Weir, Larry, gin rummy and a 7-11 that was closed until 6 AM. Our run-in with the police will get its own post, coming later…

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