I’m going to tell a story. Scroll down if the prospect of this bores you in any way. But stay for the story for my fine literary stylings.
Last night I attended a really cool (and cold) event at Fenway Park featuring a giant slope and some really insanely great snowboarders. They were playing great classic rock and the snowboarders were doing flips and things that I do not even fathom when I’m on the slopes going at the high speeds I travel at.
Sitting there I thought back to how many times I’d visited Fenway Park and the first time I had gone there. Moreover, I thought about how sometimes you think you’ll visit a place one time and you end up there multiple times. Other places feel like they will become places you go over and over again and then they just don’t. You just don’t know overall I guess.
This feeling comes over me a lot in Boston, since I visited this place before I ever lived here. I even took a train by where I currently live when I was about 18 years old, not knowing that some number of years later, never mind how many, I’d actually live here.
Sitting in the chair last night watching the competition (and nearly freezing to death), I thought of my first visit to the Fenway Park area. I say “area” because I didn’t even enter the park on my first visit. Even worse, I didn’t even realize it was there.
Let’s go back a bit. Yeah, this is a lot of writing, I know. Stick with me. There will be a payoff. When I was about 19 years old, I got it into my mind that I wanted to be a lawyer. My college had something called a Pre-Law Society, a club where like minded aspiring lawyers like myself could sit around and discuss…. law school applications?? I’m not exactly sure. They did however plan a trip to Boston to go to some kind of a convention of law schools where you could ask questions of different law schools. Mostly, the law schools would tell you how small your chances were of getting accepted.
I signed up for this excursion with a couple of my friends from the Pre-Law society. I use the term “friends” loosely, given that I don’t even remember their names anymore. I remember one girl who talked the entire ride from upstate New York to Boston about her boyfriend. Another girl was intent on meeting as many guys as she could that night in Boston. Thing got off to a rocky start, let’s put it that way.
As soon as we hit Boston, the two party girls (who probably now post photos on their Facebook pages of their kids at bake sales) got ready for an evening out by procuring some kind of beers or alcohol or something. We headed over to the Avalon club, which was next to the Axis club on Landsdowne street, next to Fenway Park. It was at that moment that I knew that I would attend twenty baseball games there, one day visit the dug out and the locker rooms, touch the green monster, take groups of unruly teenagers there and watch a Big Air ski competition while there. I knew all of that at that moment.
Yeah, um no. I didn’t even realize where we were and that we were next to Fenway Park. I didn’t even realize where the club was until I looked it up recently to try to remember where I had been on that significant trip to Boston so many years ago. The trip to the club turned out to be totally lame and the whole trip was just a bust. I ended up running into five people I knew from high school at the club. I don’t remember what happened to the party girls.
Its not the world’s greatest story obviously. It does kind of though play into two things I’ve been thinking about for a while now. If you had asked that 19 year old, do you think you will ever come back to Fenway Park again, go there 20 times and live down the street eventually, that person would have told you unreservedly “no.” So you don’t know anything. The other thing that I remember about that story of coming to Boston was how sort of late teens/early 20s-ish it is. Those are the ages when you are struggling the worst to find the people you fit with, who you should be friends with and it is so hard. You end up in all sorts of random places with all kinds of random people you never see again. The movies portray your 20’s as some kind of glamorous time, but they really aren’t. They are confusing. And painful. The people I was at the Big Air competition with meant a lot more to me than those people from that Pre-Law society, that is for sure. The Pre-Law Society experience also taught me another powerful lesson. I didn’t like any of the people in that organization, not even a little bit and I told my dad about it at the time and he said “if the shoe doesn’t fit in the store, it won’t fit at home.” I never did become a lawyer, but I guess that’s for the best because if I didn’t like those people, I wouldn’t have fit in with my future colleagues in the legal profession, that is for sure.
Now to happier thoughts. I went to the ski competition with my two now besties. One of my besties reminds me of tabasco but in human form. The other is a kind of wise ass Catalan woman who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. The two perfect people to watch such an event with. As I sat there watching the event, I kept thinking of how great it was to watch it with these two great people and how great the event itself was. Sure, it was cold enough to get hypothermia, which I probably got but the best feeling was that I was watching it with two people I really like, not some randoms I got into a van with.
Meandering. We’re at the end. Photo time!!!