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I Don’t Like Baseball, Just the Red Sox photo

The long-suffering. Scrap and scruff. My dad and me in our Clemens shirts. Day games on KTJ, our neighbors on their front porch clinking cans as the runners came home. That centenarian Fenway: scores hung by hand, Citgo-sign steeple, mouthy vendors’ grease-glossed sausages, all those full-price seats screwed down, without apology, behind pylons. The whole place singing Sweet Caroline, so good, so good, so good. Red Sox Nation, as if New England rose up—the Massholes and the mill towns and the Burlington hip indivisible. Though not my dad, who tired of the losing. In Maine his whole life except the year there wasn’t work. Now he’s got a shirt from when Clemens was a Yankee. Since he bought it, the Sox won four Series. He says he doesn’t care. I’m still a fan but I liked them better when they were bad. Every spring, insisting this was our season—the pure possibility heartening, the inevitable disappointment its own kind of comfort.


image: Jordan Cooley