I consider yesterday's game a gift from the Red Sox to Iain.
It was, my romantic side would like to believe, his reward for countless wee hours of the morning spent squinting into the MLB.tv feed on his laptop screen, for flying 4000 miles and spending as much as he can possibly afford to see them, for toughing it out through nine innings that were scoreless for the Sox and bitter cold up where we were in standing room on the State Street Pavilion.
Of course I was overjoyed about the incredible 6 runs they put up in the ninth, amazed at how many moving parts there were to that comeback, flabbergasted at its unlikelihood...I was many things, but mostly I felt vindicated for Iain. Watching him jump around hollering himself hoarse with the "LET'S GO RED SOX" chant, hang on every pitch, I thought it was the least the Sox could do to repay one of the most dedicated fans on the planet.
I, for one, became superstitious after having sat back down with my hands in a certain pose inside my hoodie's pouch after the first couple of hits / runs in the ninth, so from then on, no matter how badly I wanted to stand and cheer, I sat back down after each play. All until the last one, though, when I finally leapt to my feet in time to get a clear view of Julio Lugo's leap into the air at first base. It's a mental picture I'll always have with me--Lugo's bright white uniform standing out in the sharp late-afternoon sunshine, the dust still settling around him, while his teammates stream out of the dugout to pile on Eric Hinske at home plate.
I only saw it for a second, because then Iain was hugging me and pounding my back and grinning from ear to ear and we were exclaiming in each other's faces about how we won, can you believe it? Can you even believe what just happened?
If you'd walked up to me sometime in mid-February and asked me, if you had a time machine and a magic carpet and money was no object, where would you want to be right now? On many days I would have told you, at the ballpark on a gorgeous day, watching the Red Sox play, with Iain.
I have other Red Sox companions I could have named, of course, but the reason I'd have picked that particular scenario, given otherwordly means of getting there, is because at the time, I thought it would probably take some kind of sorcery to make it actually happen. And I missed my friend, who somehow should have grown up in Boston, it seems like, but hails for whatever reason over on the
wrong other side of the ocean.
Because my parents are incredibly generous people, they offered to let him stay at their house, and so Iain was able to make ends meet for the trip--you could say, in the bottom of the ninth, with one out. So yesterday, on a gorgeous day in May, there we were.
Iain came back. And because they knew what was good for them, the Red Sox did, too.
Game photos here.