Sunday, October 02, 2005
The Passing of Strangers - Wearing Colors like Warring Gangs
The mass pike got sluggish a few miles before the rest area I always stop at, Charleton Plaza. Sure enough, the place was packed. I luck out and find back-to-back spots, but there are a few people in the farther spot, smoking next to their car. As I pull in, they move over. "Thanks." I tell the guy near me when I open the door.
"The best spots are the ones you can pull through," he says to me. "what was the score today, 10-1?"
"I think so." Jeez, I had long ago forgotten the score, so much more focused on the implications. "Disgusting" he says, shaking his head. I stifle a laugh. Frankly I just don't know what to say to something like that, least not in the casual, friendly-like way he was saying it in. "I saw your Boston stuff. We're yankee fans, that's why I say that. I saw some other Yankee fans in there, too."
"oh I'm sure there are lots of them," I say, remembering the surprising number of skank fans at Fenway in July. As I walked past the front of my car, sure enough, there was a skank fan family on my other side. "There's some right there," I say smiling at him as I head off.
Indeed the travel stop was filled with sports fans. There were a few Bruschis and Bradys, but mostly it was Jeter and Damon, Papi and A-rod, pinstripes and home whites.As I was waiting for my #3, no onions at the McD's counter, a cashier put out a bag with two happy meals next to it. "366?" looking at me. I glance down at my receipt - 367. I look over my shoulder and see the man and two boys who had ordered in front of me. "must be them," pointing. The man notices and comes over, boys in tow. The boys were sporting red sox t-shirts and hats, but the man wore a dress shirt and slacks.
"go to the game today?" I ask the boys, grinning. I'm not sure if they were brothers or friends... different frames and looks to them made it difficult to tell who was older.
"We saw it on tv," the stockier blond kid grins back at me. "I think the yankees might have let us win though." His smile fades and he furrows his brow.
"I don't think so," I shake my head softly, and my smile grows a bit wider. "It means they have to fly to California tomorrow."
"That's a good point," the man says softly, surprised.
"The red sox have to fly to Chicago tomorrow," the kid says to me.
"Which is a much shorter flight," I nod my head.
"I flew to Chicago once, to see my grandmother," kids tell you the most random information sometimes.
"It didn't take very long, did it?" I asked him.
"no, it only took three hours" he tells me. I've flown to Chicago a few times. It takes about 1 hr 40 minutes from NYC.
"And that's including the time at the airport," I tell him, laughing.
"That's a very good point," the man says, glancing at me as he leads the kids off with their meals. I could tell he wasn't sure what to make about a stranger talking to these young boys like that, but as he walked away, he seemed to have just the slightest bounce in his step, as if the conversation had brightened his look on things. And indeed I hope that's the case, because it was in realizing these very things that had lightened my mood going into the playoffs. What I wrote last night about it "not being ideal"? Maybe I didn't think that through enough. It sure seems ideal to me now.
Reminded me of Jonathan Lipnicki's character in Jerry Maguire: "Do you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?" ;-)
The MFY have to fly all the way to the West Coast and play a very good team in Anaheim. I think the Angels are a much better team than Chicago.
As irritating as seeing the MFY take the division again is, I think it all works out in the Red Sox favor.
"As irritating as seeing the MFY take the division again is, I think it all works out in the Red Sox favor."
You guys are probably right, but it's been a fun year.
for the record, r.j., I cannot agree with mr.blackn'white here. Your pale-hose are a great team. Also, as we saw today, they can *hit*, which is more than we can say for the angels, eh?
This should be a great series, and thanks for stopping by.