I am tired.
Last night, my cousin Chris took me to Shea Stadium for the first time. He’s an old hand there, a big Mets fan who yells at the players when they should be stealing a base and aren’t and he yells at the fair-weather fans who stay seated when they should be on their feet, cheering the home team . Chris’s grandfather has great seats at Shea and has had them for like forty years, so there we were on the First base line, drinking beer and shivering in the Spring’s Fall-like weather and pretty much having a great time.
The game went 16 innings and lasted five and a half hours.
And I don’t have much to say about that, because I’m still tired and drained 24 hours later—but, I loved every long, drawn-out minute of it.
A bunch of people have asked me today how I stood it and all I can say is, get lost--that game didn’t even get interesting until the eighth inning. And once that eighth inning tie happened, there wasn’t anything that was going to make me leave; I was waiting for the homer or the heartbreak and there were no other options. We were tired, we were drained, we were cold and we were in for the duration.
For one thing, I was there with family and I don’t get to spend much time with Chris and he sure wasn’t leaving until that game was done. But, equally important, I wasn’t gonna leave because me and endurance tests are old friends. And I’ll pass every one you throw at me, especially if it’s a ballgame.
Every extra inning ended with another couple of thousand people retreating to the 7 train--giving up, moving on--and Chris derided them and I watched them go, feeling better and better.
Homer or heartbreak, that’s all I’m interested in.
When the bottom of the 16th came along and that Mets home-run went flying out of the field, right down the first base line in front of us, we high-fived and howled like wolves and stopped to smoke a cigarette before climbing the stairs to the 7—we rode back to the city on a train mostly filled with people who worked at Shea and they looked beat.
I want to write more about it, but this endurance test is done now and we won. It’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m going up to Canada to sit on an island and read a book or two and write and draw and rest up for the next one.
It was a helluva 16 innings, but that was just one game and there’s more ball to play.