Hello. Hi. My name’s Red. Take a seat. Grab a beer. Because I’ve got something important to tell you.
Ready? Okay, here it is:
Baseball in October means everything.
It means wearing gloves to the games and finding warmth in a flask of Jameson’s and the communal vibe of the bleachers.
It means pacing and punching walls and rubbing my temples and shouting at the television because GODDAM YOU, TELEVISION, WHEN NUNEZ CAN’T DRIVE IN THAT RUN.
It means hearing the inevitable cries of “Didya see the game?” whenever I walk into my office building [Of course I saw the game, asshole. What, would I watch all year and suddenly lose interest during these critical, life-affirming tournaments?].
It means plunking down everything you own on the Sox at UK Betting Sites because you’re convinced they’ve got this.
It means wearing the Pedro jersey every day, because you have to rep your set.
It means calling friends, family and total, random strangers after every inning to compare notes.
It means high-fiving strangers in the street and seeing Red Sox T-shirt vendors on every corner and letting out that guttural wail when the last out is recorded and the boys get one game closer.
It means entire evenings in front of the TV, because after the game we’ve got the post-game and then the post-post-game and then Twitter and highlight reels and never, ever sleeping.
It means intensified intensity; the culmination of a citywide love affair that typically begins right after Thanksgiving, when the hot stove is lit and all thoughts are on green grass and Florida skies.
It means treating everyone to repeated viewings of the entire DVD set of the 2004 Playoffs, Clockwork Orange-style.
It means drink after drink and the torment of losses and I’ll-never-let-those-pricks-do-it-to-me-again-I’ve-had-it-this-time-I’m-gone-and-I’m-not-coming-back but you know you will, so you sigh, take your medicine, and start planning for opening day.
It means knowing and accepting that it can end at any time, that any given game can be the season finale, the last time you’ll see JD swat a home run or the Mookie sneer or Chris Sale’s skeletal frame ambling out of the bullpen.
It means knowing that, like any good love affair, the heart you’ve opened up and given away so willingly may end up speared, torn into two throbbing pieces and left on the frozen ground.
It means the umpire is blind, the “fan” reaching for the in-play ball is SPED, and the commentators are an unsavory, anti-Boston bunch, deserving of the bad vibes I’m zapping them with through the flatscreen.
It means losing focus in meetings, letting your relationships slide, leaving that big project for another day, cutting out of work early, and driving through Kenmore and the Fens, even though you know you’ll be stuck in miles of traffic, just to soak in that crisp, sausage-tainted air.
It means lying in bed but never quite finding sleep, your stomach knotting as it replays a particularly horrific inning or contemplates the next day’s match-up.
It means that the Red Sox will either win the World Series or leave us crying in the middle of the road.
It means… everything
And we can’t wait.