Saturday, May 14, 2011
But so, you know, there's this whole culture of people who "go to the game" and do it weekly and I would drive through downtown as a game was letting out and stare at the mobs of people walking back in giant centipede formation through the streets, and be sort of awed and confused and weirded out.
The ticket was 8 dollars. The pint of Hennessy was stuffed in my bra. We walked through the Saved By the Bell style walkway from Tower City to the Stadium, and it felt like I was in a hospital basement on my way to get xrays. We passed a family leaving, chastened boy scout son in tow. We went up escalators and down stairs and through lines, the maze built for people trying to get from one side of the city to the other and into then the giant steel gates. We walked all the way to the top top section where they were waiting for us, and I wondered how I would get down those steep concrete steps again after drinking so much. The stadium itself looks like an alien "integration" facility from the front, and inside it's a nicer version of the racetrack, all looming and utilitarian, which I like. The whole "mass amount of people in a giant concrete box" vibe? I get that, that's pretty great. Also the people dancing on the big screen were cute and wonderful. There were girl scouts and boy scouts everywhere, making the Boy Who Had to Leave even sadder in retrospect. At one point they played the Fugees? That was odd. Everyone was eating peanuts and passing flasks.
There was a pretty exhilarating win, an unexpected down to the wire win, and the crowd jumped up and screamed, and the rush of sound was amazing. I felt it right in my chest. We watched the fireworks, which I would pay 8 bucks just to watch fireworks really. Afterwards, in the line of people leaving, a girl and I sang along to Journey together, and I realized I would never fall down those deadly stairs because there were too many people in front of me, a cushion of humanity.
We walked through the city to the bar, now part of the Centipede, weaving drunk through the also drunk. At the bar, the condensation from my bourbon on the rocks kept making it look like I had spilled my drink on myself, but I hadn't. There was a bartender with floppy hair who I spotted as a theater geek a mile away. Then back to our friends apartment on W.6th, which meant through the Friday night apocalypse of cheap miniskirted girls and loud slicked back men, stopping at the gyro shop where I spent 8 bucks on a pack of Camel Lights, which were disgusting.
After more drinking at her place, we started our long walk back to Tower City, contemplating cabs and how I would get to work the next morning, unsure the parking would even be open maybe the car would be trapped in there, and the city smelled like rain and light and drunk people.
He tried every door to the post office, but they were locked up tight.
At Tower City, all the lights off, we felt sure we were out of luck, but then luck was the first door we tried, which opened a little too easily.
And all of the place was empty and dark. No one to be heard, no one seen. It felt illegal, like the door had been left open by mistake, and we were someplace we shouldn't be. Appropriate things were done, as one would expect two drunk people to do when suddenly they find themselves in an abandoned empty mall, only the fountain making the slightest noise. We should have stayed longer, but the zombies or monsters or security guards felt just around the corner, pricking on the back of our shoulders. We should have stayed in there all night. The whole place was ours. We were young and thrilled. The smile was deep down in my chest, the energy of a crowd screaming all stored up in there like a battery, leaking out through our hushed and tense laughter in the silence.
Then this morning, stumbling out of bed at 6:30am to get to work against my will, my eyes crusted with mascara and socks in my pocket, the air outside was cool with rain still and the trees were green and blooming and wet. I played Cat Stevens as loud as I could driving home, which is a sign of my happiness. It was the very best a baseball game could have ever been.