Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~John Muir
As I drove down the highways toward tonight's Red Sox game, I was worried.
Not about Manny, although certainly lingering apprehensions were kicking around somewhere in there. Not about the season in general, although, ditto.
I was worried that I'm going to see too many Red Sox games this year.
I was worried that, eventually, if I keep up my pace of Sox games (currently at least twice a month), I might fail to be completely bowled over by Fenway Park, as I have been every time I've gone there so far. I might fail to feel a giddy rush when I see the light towers rise over the Mass Pike bridge. I might fail to find my pupils fixed and dilated by the time the grass comes into view.
After tonight's game, I am reasonably comfortable such a thing may never happen. Even if, again, it failed to be the barn-burner I've longed to see.
"If I had a time machine," I told Sam, my companion for the evening, "I wouldn't go back and kill Hitler. I wouldn't go back and see if Jesus really existed. If I had a time machine, I would go back to July 24, 2004, and scalp myself a ticket to that game."
I'm not kidding. Every game I go to, though my winning percentage remains high, is virtually over by the fourth inning. Which is lovely when it's a win and not quite as soul-crushing when it's a loss, but I'm tired of lovely. I want ugly. I want to know what the adrenaline of a close game or a big finish combined with the entrancing atmosphere of Fenway is like.
But, tonight was to be no different from the past, score-wise, although there were some interesting moments.
First and foremost was sunset.
If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for sunsets anyway. Where I went to school, Amherst, there seemed to be a high percentage of livestock methane in the air, and it produced nuclear sunsets nearly psychadelic in their brilliance. I got hooked on sunset then.
Sunset and Fenway Park...I can't wait to get the photo album up.
Our seats were about two rows down from the Dunkin' Dugout. They weren't the priciest seats in the ballpark, but they were some of the best I've ever had, because they were so high up that the view was breathtaking. By the third inning, surrounded by the colors of twilight, and our commanding vista over the field, utterly drunk on the sheer beauty of it all, I turned to Sam and said, "It is just. so. beautiful."
It was almost like the baseball gods, sensing my blasphemy on the drive in, had arranged for an aesthetic experience last night that would absolutely blow my mind.
More on the game itself later.