Friday, October 3, 2008

Romance and the Red Sox (Part 1)

[I've rewritten and posted this piece as a stall tactic (first chapter still being finetuned), but hopefully you'll find it a timely treat --- Sox are up one game in the first round as of this posting. I originally wrote this piece 4 years ago, in October 2004, weeks before the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.

I admit my interest in the Sox has waned since that milestone, but I can let myself get nostalgic. Interested in baseball or not, though, the prospects for October courtship in Boston remain the same.]

I keep saying this to myself, the way I might say it to her, hoping that it will keep me sane till the end of the month: "Right after the Sox win it, I’m going to cook you a quiet, romantic dinner."

I’d seen the girl often, tending bar in what was becoming my Monday night dive. She was very pretty, and exuded an indiscriminate, intoxicating warmth that seemed unaffected by shifts lasting late into the night, dealing with the same smarmy regulars day after day. It made me wonder if somebody new didn’t fall in love with her every single night.

I was excited when she agreed to go out to dinner with me, and it wasn’t long into our first date that I started to see a lot of other things I really liked. She was intelligent and well-read, confident yet modest She took eccentric pleasure in simple things like candy stores, objects colored yellow, and watching strangers let loose on the dance floor. Seeing her smile over these things, I smiled too, and the night lasted hours and hours. It was one of the most enjoyable I can ever remember having.

It took just that one date to know I was interested in this girl the way I hadn’t been in someone for years. I was committed to discovering how far the potential reached, and in a few days I was dying to see her again.

There’s just one problem. It’s October. And I live in Boston.

Other prowling singles may find this issue counterintuitive. After all, you say, October is the perfect month for love, isn't it? Can one do better than the prime of autumn in an old New England town? Trees are bursting into flame, you say, and as the air crisps it inspires in every warm body a longing to cling to another. What more could you want? Romance must be the first thing on everyone’s mind.

You're obviously not from around here.

Of course, this time of year isn't always off limits to flirts and flings, but this year, right now, is the worst time to get weak at the knees over some girl. Boston is, at present, a city at war, and it's all hands on deck.

Baseball's regular season has ended, the playoffs are here, and the Red Sox have once again secured the wild card spot. This achievement alone would be enough to stall any courtship, but it's even more hopeless than that, because after years of playing the plucky underdogs the Sox have entered the American League Championship Series, against their age old rivals from New York, favored to win. At stake is the chance to witness history, nay, to see an ancient and epic prophecy come finally to fruition: The Boston Red Sox, baseball's original champions, after being raped, pillaged and burned for a near century, after finding redemption at their fingertips again and again only to see it slip away each and every time, finally rise from the ashes and charge over the imperial Yankees on the road to the—(gulp) am I even allowed to say it?—World Series, where they will finally smash the evil curse that has for generations oppressed us Bostonians.

It’s an opportunity that comes less than once in a lifetime, as thousands of fans, who cheered for decades and died without ever seeing a championship, might beseech us from that sunny, neatly clipped ballpark in the sky.

Part [1] [2] [3] [4]

1 comment:

Allan said...

Someone needs to do a Red Sox fans singles dating website.