Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One Night in Boston

It was a cold and rainy October night in Boston when my dad decided to go stand in line for World Series tickets. Before going he stopped by my loft to see if I would like to go with him and my brother Jeremy. We were avid Red Sox fans who complained, win or loss. My Dad was wearing a pair of long underwear, jeans, and a winter coat. Jeremy was dressed for the weather as well. Myself not being a real fanatic of the cold fall nights in our fare city, I wore tons of layers.  Before going to Fenway, we stopped by a donut shop and got a thermos full of coffee and a dozen donuts. It was three A.M. on October 21, 1975, and I had a great feeling this will be a night no one will forget.
The ticket office didn’t open until 7:00 a.m., and I was bitching like you wouldn’t believe. The line was long and full of fans with the same hopes as my family to see the Sox win a Series game. My dad is one of the kindest men I’d ever been in contact with, he was generously asking people if they would like to sit in his lawn chair for a bit. I couldn’t blame them for not wanting to, it looked as if it were about to break any second. The whole time we were in line I had been noticing a woman about twenty or thirty people behind us; she was  beautiful in the way beauty use to mean something, classy, and way out of my league. She was wearing a ski cap and was bundled up like she was going skiing, so I couldn’t get a great look, but I sensed beauty. At this time it was about 9:30 and we were rounding the front of the stadium, We were getting very excited, then we heard a Fenway attendant yell “ SOLD OUT!!!”. I was crushed.  We were so close, but my attention turned immediately to the woman, and wouldn’t you know it she was gone. My feelings may have been wrong about this night I feared. 
We went back to my loft where we all showered and got ready to go to Cask ‘n Flagon Bar and Grill. It was a small Irish pub directly behind Fenway Park. My dad got us great corner seats at the bar, we ordered some food and of course some brews. I ordered the cheesesteak sandwich that had loads of cheese pouring out of it, and some really good seasoned fries. The time had come that we were waiting for all season, 4:01, game time. Luis Tiant fired a strike over the outside corner for the games first pitch; he shut the Reds down in order in the first inning. The Sox, on the other hand, scored three runs off a three run base clearing triple in the bottom of the frame. Then, in typical Boston fashion, we lost the lead and we lost it big, going in to the bottom of the eighth down 6-3. When the Sox started a rally again with two lead off singles, that’s when she appeared again. The woman was here, in this pub.
As the Sox had men on first and second I leaned to my dad who loves the Sox maybe more than my mother and said, “Save my seat”. He replied, “Why? Where are you going, the game is now, here in the eighth- no outs, it’s now or never.” I said, “ I have to go talk to my future wife,” and damn it he knew I meant it since I was leaving my seat for the first time all game. I felt somewhat bad because this night was supposed to be about my father and his boys taking in a series game together, but I had to take a shot. As I approached her table I noticed she was sitting with five other women, all in which were rooting on the Red Sox. Every step I took I felt like my cheesesteak was going to come back up. I noticed she was drinking wine so I asked her waitress to give me a glass of whatever she was drinking and a Pabst. While I was waiting I was noticing her shoulder length brown hair and her big, beautiful brown eyes. She was wearing a long sleeve shirt with a Sox jersey over it and a pair of jeans. Finally I got the drinks and just as I approached the table Bernie Carbo hits a three run home run to tie the game and the bar was going nuts! When I got my wits about myself again I’d noticed that she was standing directly beside me. “I bought you a glass of wine”, I said. “Thank you”, she replied. She and her friends came over and sat near us and Keri and I got to know each other a little better.
Keri was everything I’d been looking for in a woman and never been able to find, she was caring, thoughtful, smart, and beautiful. I was so interested in what she had to say I didn’t even realize we were going to extra innings. She told me about her life, I told her about mine. She chatted with my family and I talked with her friends. This was not at all the night I had in mind, it was better. Her friends were leaving and she really didn’t want to go, so I told them I would walk her home. Turned out she lived two blocks from my dad. It was getting late in the game at this point, on t.v. they were at commercial and it was going into the bottom of the twelfth inning. Due up was Carlton Fisk and he was in a huge hitting slump. He stepped in for the first pitch and it was a ball, up and in and nearly hitting him. Next pitch was one of the most historical hits ever. Fisk bombed it down the left field line hooking foul but the wind blew it back against the foul pole. Home run. Game over. Sox win! We drank until about 2 a.m., and then we were on our way home.
On our way we were holding hands and lagging behind my brother and dad, in my head the constant thought of that good night kiss and how awkward they can be. I was waiting for that perfect moment to ask her for phone number. My dad and brother were our first stop, Jeremy lived on Revere St. in a three decker condo that was a bit of a fixer upper, but very nice and affordable for the Beacon Hill area. We said our goodbyes and were off to my dad’s. He lived on Beacon Rd., they have lived in the same house since before they were married. It was a beautiful colonial with navy blue shutters and doors, the kind of home you think of when you think of America. We stood outside my parents home for a few minutes talking with my dad, and it felt like we were stalling. After about twenty minutes of chatting with my father we were on our way to Adams Rd., where Keri lived. On our walk I asked her for her number and  she gave it to me and made me promise that I would call her tonight and take her to dinner, and of course I was happy to promise that. We finally arrived at her apartment. It was a small one bedroom condo, but very clean looking. We stood on the stoop talking and laughing for a few minutes, I was nervously kicking the potted plant on her stoop when it happened. Holding each others hands we leaned in and kissed. It was gentle, very passionate, and over quickly.
As I was leaving I had finally realized that this night was the happiest I had been in a very long time and I had my family and the woman of my dreams to thank for it. When I turned the corner I was more confident than ever, after all I had just met a pretty young woman and the Sox were headed for a game 7! The rain had started again, of course it would since I was eight blocks away from my loft. I started to jog because it was really starting to come down and it was a cold rain. When I was running across my parents street I saw the headlights out of the corner of my eye and as I turned to avoid the inevitable, I was struck by the truck.
I remember saying that this was going to be a night that no one would forget, I just didn’t think it was going to end with me meeting the girl of my dreams only to never be able to talk to her again. I was pronounced dead on the scene.

No comments:

Post a Comment