Used to be that when shit got real or real bad, a trip to Fenway Park made everything better. But now… I can’t even do that.
Sure, I can lollygag around your gates, have a drink at GameOn and gaze longingly up at your light stands or lay face down in the gutter on Lansdowne and openly weep, which was actually my favorite pastime in the 90s. But I can’t get inside. And that’s what’s killing me.
I see you on TV cozying up to those goddam cardboard cutouts. And I can’t stop thinking that it should be me. I should be sitting there. Basking in your glory. Soaking in the sights and sounds. Giving visiting teams the finger and getting looped on smuggled-in whiskey.
I’ve also realized some cold, hard truth this season: I took you for granted. Since the day I dropped, you’ve been a twenty minute drive away. A two hour walk (when sober). A six hour stumble (when not). My whole life, Fenway Park has been there for me to slip inside when I needed it most.
But now that you’ve blocked me out, I kinda want you more than ever. And it hurts.
So, Fenway Park, let me take this opportunity to take back everything I used to complain about. Your tiny-man grandstand seats that abuse my dorky 6’2″ frame and require me to use the jaws of life whenever I stand up to cheer. The twenty dollar beers that get smaller and smaller every year. The water-floating hot dogs that seal my colon yet remain impossibly irresistible. The fact that only one goddam concession stand sells Coke Zero in a bottle and it’s way the fuck over in the right field concourse. The wall of grease fumes wafting out of your in-house Tasty Burger that osmoses through my body whenever I walk by. The seemingly omnipresent smell of urine… my God, the urine.
Fact is, I’d probably give a year of my life to find my ass wedged in one of your wretchedly painful Grandstand seats. Or dodging drunk electricians and sorority girls in your narrow passageways. Or grabbing a beer at the third base deck, watching the non-believers stream into the Cask.
So believe me when I say I can’t live without you. Can’t even try. Now please let me in and let me avoid the embarrassment of being caught scaling the walls to your heart.