Thursday, October 28, 2004

You win today... 

...and 86 years are washed away.

A ten year old boy watched Bob Gibson and Julian Javier defeat his beloved Jim Lonborg and the Red Sox. It was a coolish late afternoon -- Dad had let him stay home to watch Game 7 -- and the boy went outside, tears in his eyes. Grabbed his glove and ball, threw against the garage wall. Dad hated that, but did not complain that day. The boy threw, thinking he was Kemer Brett, and thought it would be him someday, and that the Sox would win. He had no idea of 1918, curses, or bambinos.

Eight years later. His best friend got married to provide his baby a father. Parents needed a night out, and the boy, now a young man of 18, agrees to watch their infant so they can have a night out. He turns on the game and watches Bernie Carbo with a pinch-hit three-run homer and a young catcher waving and jumping. The young man also jumps holding the baby. The best moment of his Red Sox life.

Through Buckyfuckindent and Yaz on third, Buckner and Mookie, and Aaron Boone and Grady No-Hook, he waited. He couldn't watch with others after '86. He waited.

Tonight he prepares a blog post, with the tears of the ten-year-old finally finishing their travel down the cheek, now into a beard. Though bursitis bites at the throwing shoulder, the man goes back outside, grabs his glove and ball, and throws against the garage door. His wife, trying to sleep, says nary a word. She knows.

Faith ... not restored.

Not rewarded.


And a smile...

...from God.

Thanks to everyone who's written me, who teased me about the silly article in the newspaper yesterday describing why I stopped watching with others, who linked to posts* about the ALCS comeback, and to you readers. I don't know if I will post much tomorrow.

To cousin Gary and Uncle Frank, who didn't live to see this, who watched with the boy in a den in Manchester or Dover, or listened on a transistor on a porch at the beach at Rye or Wallis Sands or York, year after year -- see you soon. Bring your gloves, and I'll tell you all about it.

* -- Especially Elder, though getting this song out of my head will require more brandy...and what's with the Gigl-ish footnoting here?