Thursday, April 23, 2009
We Offer You Only Hell and Strife, Boston
Since the dawn of 2009, life has felt a bit empty. I've tried to pinpoint the exact source of this ennui, but until last night my search came up wanting. Could it be the nagging sense of not having accomplished a single memorable feat, personally or professionally? Could it be severe loneliness, to the point that I've begun asking female clients on dates based solely on their phone voice? Or is it just the generational malaise- the oppressive sense that we exist in a time and place of long odds getting longer?
Sure, it could be some combination of the above. But those issues have been my companion for years, and I like to think I'm acclimated to some extent; I've penned a bitter truce with reality and all its caveats.
No, this vague feeling of anxiety, this lingering sense of displacement, belongs to a different complaint. It has picked, and picked, and picked some more, agitating my waking hours and haunting my sleep, until last night, in a moment of revelation, I came face to face with the epiphany: Boston, that godforsaken metropolis on the Atlantic, has lain dormant for days and months, denying me a reliable outlet of pure, unmitigated hate.
You see, the Patriots diminished. After the debilitating shock to the system of Eli's Giant triumph, they spent a season outside the playoff bubble. Like a man who had been burnt by the girl of his dreams at the very brink of eternal bliss, they tiptoed through the AFC East, afraid of risk, content to settle on a mediocre path. No playoffs, no Super Bowl, no rematch, no heartbreak. And no kind of target for the rancorous venom I usually spend at their expense.
You see, the Celtics aged. Kevin Garnett's awful melodramatics following the Lakers triumph have faded into memory, and time has claimed its tribute: a rickety pair of battle-worn knees. The club's remainder slouches on, gamely struggling against the Chicago Bulls in what appears for all the world to be a doomed effort. But even in the best case scenario, a certain royal force waits in the Eastern Conference Finals- a powerful conquistador, and the best guarantee a man could want that in mere days, the word 'repeat' will not be repeated. That question is answered, the suspense suspended. And thus King James denies me this outpouring of spite toward a green northeastern neighbor.
Oh, I don't fool myself. The bargain has not been upkept on this side, either. The Giants shot themselves in the foot, or somewhere a few feet higher, in their quest for repetition, and D'Antoni's Destroyers Decidedly Disavowed the Doctrine of Defense. It happens, they tell me.
But where do they go, all these stunted ravings? What happens to a scream deferred? Inward, inward, always inward...
But this morning, my Gotham friends, after days of rain and cold, the sun shines! The ten-day forecast promises bright skies and warmth! A springly clime alights on our maligned streets! And why?
The war is back on! The Yankees and Red Sox, at 9-6 apiece, do battle for the first time this season! Ugly Fenway will open its benighted doors to the gallant Bombers from the South Bronx! Our acrimony, long accrued, shall be expunged, excreted, et cetera. The enemy rises again...and Saturday promises particular appeal, as A.J. and Josh break out the dueling pistols and ascend the hill of dirt.
The horizon, I'm happy to report, isn't littered with Red Stockings alone. No, no...the Boston Bruins, those black sheep of Boston athletics, have salvaged something from the mess of their lives and advanced to the eastern conference semi-finals for the first time in ten long years. They made quick victims of the world's second-most successful franchise, the Montreal Canadiens. Their next opponent? At the risk of counting chickens still curled inside their eggs, it may well be the New York Hockey Rangers. One more win over Tsar Alexander and the Capitals will send the Boys in Blue Boston-bound with a return to the glory days of Messier heavy on their minds.
Hostilities, as they say, are renewed. If Chicago is America's Second City, then Boston is its Third World. Superiority must be asserted! Let the bile flow, New York. It's good for you. 'Tis the season.