In the 8th, a grown man began to impersonate a dog. That’s when things began to get odd. A man in the section next to mine was escorted out for something I didn’t see. Booing and chants of USA arose from the bleachers in right-center field; I presume that someone foreign-looking was involved in a fight.
And then the Rays tied the game in the 9th. I sat back down and felt terrible. It seemed certain that this game was going to end in a loss, and a great day was falling apart before my eyes. Perspective. I said a prayer, unaware that this would become an afternoon full of them. But Andrew Bailey escaped, and the runner on 2nd never moved further. The game headed towards the bottom of the 9th tied, and as I was already writing this post in my head, I imagined this turning into a marathon of a game. Baseball is a game that can, theoretically, go on forever. This game had was nearing the 3 hour mark, but it was only 2 PM. I would’ve stayed all day, if need be.
Luckily, it didn’t come to that. The first time I went to Fenway, the crowd at the end of the game shook a rookie pitcher and transformed an impending loss into a win. I don’t know if the crowd had that same psychological effect here, but they may just have willed a walk out of Dustin Pedroia’s at-bat. And then Mike Napoli hit a long fly ball to left field, and Pedroia raced home. “Dirty Water” started playing over the PA system. I started to make my way towards the exit, but I stopped to absorb the moment. I didn’t mind taking a little extra time to leave Fenway and get back to Shelton. Especially since I wasn’t sure how I’d get past the marathon.
It all seemed so simple at the time.
Twenty minutes later, when I finally got across Comm. Ave. to CityCo, I had toilet paper in my hand when I heard a police officer’s radio mention an unattended package somewhere along the course. I don’t know if that has anything to do with Monday’s tragedy, and I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now I can’t forget it. This was supposed to be a post about baseball.
I first saw the news about the explosions on Twitter and just didn’t know how to handle it. This is something that happens elsewhere. It couldn’t have been that bad. But it was Boston, and it was that bad. A good day stopped being one.
It was an hour or two afterwards when I thought idly and helplessly to myself, “Why Copley and not Kenmore? Why the marathon and not the Red Sox game? It’s every bit as large a group of people.” Perhaps that’s morbid of me, and perhaps it’s pointless to try and make sense of the nonsensical. Above all, it strikes me as all so very random and out of my control. Monday was all brightness and merriment, until it wasn’t. There was no foreshadowing, no ominous cloud cover. Two explosions, and Marathon Monday became something no day should be. Maybe Patriot’s Day will never be the same again; I don’t know. There are too many things that no one knows right now, including how to feel.
When music finally re-entered my head, it was the chorus to “Dirty Water.” Boston, you’re my home.