After the box of chicken, the first thing I noticed about this gentleman sitting next to me was his suit: It was a Wednesday night and I had him pegged as a businessman. He wouldn’t have been out of place fifty years earlier, if he had a hat, I mean; one of the Nighthawks, maybe. He also drank beer out of a wine glass, and seemed to know the bartender. He was a local and a regular, and if he were an alcoholic, he’d be a classy one for sure.
I started making drunken conversation about how eventful that night could be, not even mentioning my traffic incident. What with the total eclipse and the closeness of the Red Sox, that’s conversation enough for anyone. I may have leaned too hard on the magical components of the evening, getting too philosophical too soon — I’m an emotional whore and you know it.
So the suit did me one better and took things up a notch:
“Do you believe in Elves and Dragons?“
Psshhht. Mayday! Can you read me? Over.
I thought about the question for a second and when I started my answer with “Well…” he summarily dismissed it. For that matter, I don’t even think he cared that I took a class on J.R.R. Tolkien while in college.
Beers later, I was giving him my autograph and promising him I’d be famous. I’d send him the link for this blog if I knew his email address and wanted to humiliate myself.
We eventually introduced ourselves, but I won’t share his name. Not important to you, I don’t think.
Game Four continued and was less an exciting back-and-forth battle than a comfortably tense exercise where the Red Sox held the lead throughout.
No — that’s hindsight rubbing the edges off the memory. The buildup was enormous and all I could do was drink and converse and occasionally step outside to see the eclipse.
Which came full late in the evening. Beautiful.
The suit asked me what I did — for a living, if you could call it that. I told him I was a graduate student. I asked him, too.
“By night, I’m an old drunk.“
We laughed smilingly.
“As a day job, I’m a lawyer.“
Now, I have to admit, I forget if it was before or after this statement that the lawyer asked me my biggest fear, I started bawling and then asked him if he were God. I should have kept better notes.
But in the grand, infinite scheme of things, it was only a moment later that the Red Sox finally won the World Series.
As Renteria grounded back to Foulke, who tossed to Mientkiewicz, who still hasn’t let go of the ball, all I could do was forget my troubles and stand up and grab hold of my hair and repeat variations of:
“OH MY GOD! OH MY FUCKING GOD!”