Saturday morning in South Shore, payments due

Last night marked my first in five sleeping in a true bed… Becca has spent the past week recovering from the Illness and the two of us want to play it safe on account of a major family gathering happening this weekend. Therefore I’ve roughed it on the couch for the past week, and one forgets the pleasure of a mattress – even a well-used one – when they haven’t known it for quite some time…

I woke up doing calculations, for last night I took my soon-to-be-married cousin and his friends out for a good time in Patriots Place… The site really is beautiful, and for all his faults Rob Kraft should win a Medal for building up Foxboro into a playground for the delightful and depraved alike… Gillette Stadium towers over all, the home of the New England Patriots, where the ghosts of Belichick, Brady, and Bledsoe among others haunt the bleachers trading pats on the butt… Smattered on its fringes are bars and bowling alleys, high-end restaurants filled with men in ironed polo shirts and women in short dresses, music venues suiting the cowboy and the trap house and the metalhead.

But the place was dead on a Friday night. Our crew of seven sat in Davio’s, a northern Italian steakhouse with a 55-day dry-aged prime rib to excite the taste buds and raise the cholesterol severely. It seemed half-full; a family who came from money with a father figure who looked like an NFL executive sat near us, and there were plenty of young men and women dressed up for a night of classy drinking which would turn ugly quick given the right parameters. But the staff were friendly and didn’t seem frazzled. It is always fun to dine with a good group of people, folks who know how to joke and share stories and keep the conversation going. Even now, two years and change after the start of this pandemic, it is still strange but familiar to cavort in large groups, and every major celebration is a blessing even if it goes sideways.

After dinner we went to the Splitsville bowling alley to play a few games and get the bachelor drunk. Game 4 of the NBA Finals was on all the screens. I imagine every resident of the Greater Boston Area was home watching the game or at the Garden. The bars had people flitting about and cheering on the Celts as they kept a close game with the Warriors, but otherwise the seven of us had the run of the place. We kept finding all sorts of different ways to throw the bowling ball, and we spelled out ASSHOLE with our names on the scoreboard like common grade-schoolers. Over the last few weeks I have thought how difficult it is to balance childishness with growing up, but in the right place and at the right time, the youth comes out naturally…

The Celts melted at the last minute; in the third quarter they allowed Golden State to even out the score, and in the fourth they missed several shots and let the Warriors run away with possession and end the game with a ten-point lead. Steph Curry, for all his injuries, scored 43 points out of Golden State’s total of 107, which even the seven of us moping in the bowling alley had to admit was impressive… Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined scored 44. The game was fantastic up until the final five minutes… No, until the end there was no anemia from either side. Only when Brown started missing too many shots from outside the paint did we start considering the Celtics would lose…

My God! Have I not talked about basketball in so long? The last detailed post about any basketball game from this website was about the Rockets’ disgusting losing streak at the beginning of the season… Now at the end of the season I start paying attention again. I admit that my attention turned to whether or not we would have a baseball season in 2022. Damn! I wish I had become a sportswriter… Something about the thrill of the atmosphere, the numbers, and the emotion of the game gets to me, and I wish as a child I had respected all of those things about sport and made them work for me instead of pushing them away under the fake guise of elitism…

Face demons. Hm. Noah Syndergaard should face the Mets and the New York press. I should face my younger self and slap him for wanting to make a career out of experimental films or writing fiction. Marcus Smart should work on scoring more than 18 points. And Tom Brady should realize that his time at Gillette Stadium was as good as it was going to get, despite his last Super Bowl victory, and take FOX News up on that broadcasting gig now while he still looks good.

Anyway, I am doing the math. A night out with seven guys adds up quick. In these times we can handle such sums, but I remember a time when numbers like the ones I’m figuring out now would have made me catatonic. I wouldn’t go back to those times if my life depended on it, and neither would you, if you were me… But enough of that. The sun is up on the South Store, and I have a major need for Mary Lou’s coffee, as I always do when I visit this part of the state. Soon I will call it home, at least for a time. So there.

(And thank God, Tylor Megill started for the Mets last night and held the terrible Angels to just three runs with the help of Dave Peterson, who got the W… Our healed rotation will put real fear into the hearts of the whole of Major League Baseball.)

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