Love Stinks, Yeah Yeah
All I can see when I close my eyes this morning is the inside of Fenway Park.
I have a terminal case of Red Sox Fever. I keep thinking about how warm and friendly Johnny Damon was to the shrieking hordes of fans thrusting baseballs, caps, programs, shirts into his face for autographs. I keep thinking about the strangely sullen face of Mark Bellhorn as he handed one autographed ball after another up to the guys perched on the edge of the dugout. I don't think Bellhorn's really a dour person, but his face makes him look that way, and that interests me for whatever reason.
I keep thinking about Manny taking batting practice, how it was like watching a racehorse in full stride or a ballerina dance the "Arabian" or any other powerful, graceful animal I've ever seen in motion, how it finally made me really understand the phrase "poetry in motion", as I watched the ball inscribe eternal truths in graceful arcs on the air.
I keep thinking about Kevin Millar with Manny in an affectionate headlock, both of them waving up at the fans straining at the walls by the field and crawling up over the dugout to get to them, thinking of Millar's sloppy grin in the bright sunshine and how perfectly they went together.
I keep thinking about the girl I met in line for the bathroom, who was carrying her beer in with her, who told me she'd paid $40 for standing room for this debacle, and how we laughed together, two total strangers, about how at least the rendition of "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch was giving the crowd something to cheer for.
I keep thinking about Manny playing to the crowd every time he came up to bat, the way just his glance over toward our section would send everyone into ecstasies of fist-pumping, name-chanting and clapping. Say what you want about the guy, but more than anyone else I saw yesterday, he just lights up the ballpark.
I keep thinking about the street musicians we saw later on the corner of Yawkey Way playing plastic buckets and trash can lids and a couple of dented cymbals and how a crowd gathered around them and drunken young people danced crazily to their relentless rhythms.
I keep thinking about it all, and the strangest thing has happened. As ludicrously small as Fenway was yesterday, today it's suddenly gotten so much bigger.
I'll be going back there July 6, which is my birthday. By that time it is likely I'll have the Nomar Experience for the first (and possibly last) time ever. And then I will be completely lost.