ten years

We sat around the table, the two of us, speaking in hushed tones. She was sad, disillusioned. He'd been a dick. Again. I poured out the end of the bottle into both our glasses. She looked at the wine and then at me, her large blue eyes surrounded by a haze of red. Hurt but strong. I took a sip and tried to look at the time without looking at the time.

What are you looking at? It's 4 in the morning. 

It's Game 4. The Red Sox could win the World Series. 

You came over here with wine when Game 4 was on?

You sounded like you needed wine.

I needed wine. You want to see if we can watch the game? 

It was the sort of late that just didn't matter. No exhaustion or sleepiness. It could have been any time of day.


She popped open her laptop and we looked for a feed, but nothing came up. The connection was too slow. We finished the wine and poured a whisky. 

One of the computer labs?

Could work. My ID's a lot out of date though.

I'll get us in. 

The rain pelted. The wind hammered. Both came from the east. It was cold. We leapt over puddles and leant to the right as we did to keep our balance. A proper Scottish gale. It was only a block. Cobbles one street, tarmac the next. A wynd and a half in between.

We dodged the empty kegs outside the Keys and crossed North Street. The lights around the library glowed but it was dark. But we weren't going there. She slid her keycard down and the lock clicked. One lone student sat working in front of a glowing screen. One screen out of dozens.

She logged us in and I found a feed. It was so pixelated. I still can't believe there was audio. Just a small window on a small screen. Small blocks of green and red and white and sand and grey. Blurs, really. My heart beat fast and my breath shallow and then there was no breath. She grabbed my shoulder and still there was no breath. We watched.

Pixelated, impressionist, Keith Foulke flipped a ball to Doug Mientkiewicz and the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. I looked at her because I didn't really believe it. She looked at me because she was happy for me. It's a rare joy to be truly happy for somebody else. We laughed and ran back out into the storm. 

I woke my dad up with the call, but mine wasn't the last. My sisters and brother phoned too. We phoned our dad who handed the bat to Ted Williams 50-odd years before that. He sounded happy and sleepy when I spoke to him. Not as excited as me. As though that flame had been passed to me and he was fine with it. It was my joy and burden now. 

I said goodbye to him and hung up. I said goodnight to her and walked home in the rain. But I didn't go home. I walked to the end of the pier as torrents, gales and waves pounded and the North Sea raged and I looked out into the black and grey maelstrom of night and elements and I shouted and cried and punched the air and my hat soaked to my skull and I laughed because it happened and I couldn't believe it. 

Damp and cold I went to bed about 7 and was at work for 9. My shift ended at 5 and I opened a bottle of Dom Perignon 1996 for my colleagues and friends who knew nothing of baseball or curses or Ted Williams or David Ortiz. I explained everything, or I tried to. No one cared. There was great Champagne, what else mattered?

Everyone is in a different place now. But that morning, that day, ten years ago, everyone was right there, and it wouldn't have happened without them.