For game five, I went to Mickey Mantle's Restaurant (heaven version) with Marley, Tony, Suzanne, Sashial and Lira. Playing in the road stadium against the Phillies' best pitcher, I wasn't too confident about the game, so a dinner out with the gang with the possibility of a victory was all I was expecting (plus promise of a meal was the only way to get Lira there). When the Yankees came up short, it was disappointing, but no big deal.
The night of game six, on the other hand, an hour before the game, I had an odd queasiness about me, like I knew that was it, that that was the night a decade of hoping and wishing was going to be realized. I told Sashial I didn't want any parallelism. I wanted everything to be one-hundred percent earth, one-hundred percent real. She said, "Well fuckin' A! Let's go down to the stadium then! We'll just go down invisible in spirit mode and sit on the dugout. Best seats in the fucking house!"
I said, "I don't want to be hiding when it happens, I want to be out there, among the fans, with the people. Let's go to that bar in my neighborhood."
"The one where we had the celebration for you?"
"Yes," I said, "but not the Heaven one, the real one. The neighborhood is seven subway stops from Yankee Stadium, it's a big time Yankee bar, it'll be packed wall to wall with Yankee fans."
"You know I fucking hate crowds," said Sashial.
"You can still go to the stadium," I said, "Just swing by after."
She looked disappointed, which was very odd to see, because I'd never seen that expression on her before. "But it won't be as much fun watching them win without you there." When she said that, I thought back to when we met, and how dumbfounded I would have been back then to see her like that.
"Just come to the bar," I said. "Yes, it'll be crowed, but trust me, it'll be crowded with instant best friends." Sashial agreed, threw on a Nick Swisher t-shirt (her favorite player) and we shot down to the bar to watch the game. And of course, not only was she instantly surrounded by dozens of friendly allies, her trash talking soon endured her to the crowd even more. In one of the early innings, Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino misjudged a fly ball and it short hopped his catch, resulting in a base hit instead of a fly ball out. Above the whole crowd, Sashial yelled, "Nice fuckin' hustle, douchebag!" which made her an instant favorite among the cheering throng.
When the Yankees won the game and thus, the series, Sashial and I were ecstatic. Maybe her a little more, because she'd never experienced it before, plus after some of the humans I've saved, even the thrilling of sports events falls a little short of the personal gratification. But nonetheless, after years of frustration, to have things finally work out was a special kind of joy. Specially because, this time I didn't have to create it. Originally, when I first became an angel, it was just the opposite, but now, experiencing a cathartic pleasure without ever having the responsibility of it looming over me was both jubilant and liberating. I hadn't seen Sashial this happy since the last time we celebrated at that bar. This wasn't as big an occasion, but least there wasn't an unpleasant reality we'd have to succumb to facing this time.
"Where's Marley?" Sashial asked. "I know she's not exactly a baseball fan, but I thought she'd at least want to celebrate with you."
"She will," I said. "She's at the stadium right now."
"What's she doing there?"
About twenty minutes later, Marley showed up at the bar, getting a big hug from Sashial before gripping me so tight, it was like she was trying to keep my soul from being dragged away. "So how was it?" I asked.
"Oh my god," she said. "Such intense joy from nearly 50,000 people. It was like waves and waves of it washing over me. It was so beautiful. I just hope that collectively, they're not as equally sad down where the the other team is from."
"What, in Philadelphia?" Sashial asked. "FUCK them."
And that's them being them. God is good.