I'm not dead. I'm not in the county lockup.
I'm on a train hurtling up the corridor to my home in New England. My connection is crappy ditto my travel machine ditto my mood.
Many people on the train are headed back to Boston. They're wearing Ortiz jerseys. They're talking about how great the game was. I'm about to do something unpleasant in their presence. Make of that what you will.
It's not saying much, and I'll write more later, but for now, let's just say that the principal objective of the mission did not come to pass. I'm still sorting out the reasons why.
Interestingly, the best part of the Moon Big Papi evening was that a great bar I once found in the Bronx was found again and is still truly a great bar.
Bartender: What can I get for you?
Me: (looking around not seeing any taps, forgetting that it's bottles only in this place)
Me: What kind of beer do you have?
Bartender: We keep it simple. Bud or Bud Light.
Me: Ok. I'll have a Bud.
Me: No wait! I changed my mind! Bud Light!
Bartender: (looking at me to see if there's a part of my shirt collar he can grab so he doesn't hurt his hand while throwing me out on the sidewalk)
Me: Sorry. I'm just being a dick. I'm good at it. Please give me a Bud.
(time passes; we drink beer)
Enormous Black Customer (walks up next to us and barks at the bartender): Vodka and Coke.
Bartender: I'll get to you after I serve these white people.
Bartender (turning to us and speaking in a voice as sweet and solicitous as Alfred the Butler): Three more, fellas?
Me: Jesus! (prounounced more like "Sheeeeesus!")
Enormous Black Customer (looking at me): I've been coming here since 1970. He's always the same.
Bartender: (serves Enormous Black Customer a Vodka and Coke in a pint glass. The contents of the glass are clear with a high thin cloud of Coke floating near the top. He does this before getting our beers. He was just being a dick. Seems he's good at it, too.)
My Friend: (Eyes wide at all that's just happened -- i.e., the Enormous Black Customer being told he'd be served after the white people are served and then being given a beach pail full of vodka, which he's now knocking back like ice-water on a hot day.)
Me (to Enormous Black Customer, watching him drain his bucket of vodka): This is why I love coming here. Everybody gets it. We're all just having fun, nobody's getting bent out of shape, and everybody will be here tomorrow.
Enormous Black Customer: We take care of each other here. You need something, it's here.
My Friend (to me): I don't understand how this place makes money serving drinks like that.
Me: Speaks with Enormous Black Customer, a Master Electrician and Viet Nam veteran for 90 minutes. He has three daughters, I have four. We commiserate. His youngest daughter won't leave the house. She's 24. It's time already, you know what I'm saying? She's got a good job but she won't leave. I think her mother secretly wants her to stay. You know how women are with their youngest. I suggest that, every night, after he comes home, he should wear nothing around the house except neon orange Speedos. Like this. (I mimic doing the mambo and waggle my hips.) She'll get the message, I tell him. He roars laughing and claps his hand on my shoulder. See?, he says, It don't matter about black or white, we're all the same. I say, yes, our unifying bond is that the thought of their father walking around in orange Speedos disgusts ALL daughters. Trust me, you do that, she'll be out of the house poco-poco. He roars and claps his hand on my shoulder again. I'm having a great time. It's like the fun we used to have in the old Yankee Stadium. I could stay here all night.
But I have to leave, because we're on a mission. We walk up River Avenue to the non-game....
I'm still on the train. More updates will follow.