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Thank God It's Opening Day

By Todd M. Civin

My phone rang on that Saturday in early February. It was my son, Corey. He screamed through the phone and woke me from my mid-morning slumber.

I could barely understand him and assumed he had been out with college buds the night before.

"I scored. I scored" he screamed.

I quickly changed my thoughts and interpreted his words to mean he had finally gotten laid. Who'd have thought it would take him to the age of 22.

"Well good for you, buddy", I said. "I was 21 the first time I scored. It was with.....?"

"TMI, TMI Dad." he interrupted blocking his ears. "Besides, I was 16."

"I scored four Red Sox tickets for Opening Day," he continued.

I was immediately torn between being disappointed because my kid had sex six years ago and hadn't told me, and elated in finding out I was going to Opening Day.

"With who?." I asked.

"Tampa Bay!" exclaimed Corey.

"No....never mind. Where are the seats?" I started to ask. And then I stopped. I knew it didn't matter. Corey and Tabitha, Kate and I were going to drink from the Silver Cup. We had found Charlie Bucket's Golden Ticket. We had hit the lottery like only Whitey Bulger could. We were going to Opening Day in Fenway Park.

I dropped to my knees, like every good Jewish boy does, and began to pray.

"Dear God...I know I pray for some pretty wild things. I sometimes wonder if you even hear me. I prayed for that plane to land safely on the Hudson River. And you heard me loud and clear. Thanks for that."

"And I prayed for a black man in the White House by the time I was 48 and you came through with flying colors." Nice work.

"I even prayed for my son to have sex before the age of 22 and you apparently heard that too. How great art thou?"

"But when tickets went on sale for Opening Day, and I sat in the virtual waiting room like a fool from 9:00 AM to 11:59 PM. And watched that damn browser refresh every 30 seconds. To no avail. I assumed I had gone to the well once too often. Thanks, Big Guy," I said.

That was then and this is now. I went to bed last night with a swarm of butterflies in my gut. I felt like a four-year-old on Christmas eve. I tried to sleep but had one eye on the alarm clock as each and every minute crept by. I tossed and turned and counted Championships in an effort to sleep. "1903... 1912...1915...1916...1918...I fell asleep for what seemed like a century...then awoke again... 2004, 2007....".

The alarm clock radio sounded loudly...."Sweet Caroline...bum, bum, bum..."

I sprung from my bed and almost tripped over my dog, Fenway, who still slept on the floor at the foot of our bed. "Katie, Katie...time to get up," I screamed. "It's Opening Day, honey. It's Opening Day."

I ran into the bathroom and threw on the shower. Steam filled the room as I took my morning pee in the trough that adorns our bathroom wall. I finished and shivered slightly as the last few drops hit the cold white porcelain. "Natures way of shaking", I thought.

I jumped in the shower totally unaware that I was still wearing my Jim Lonborg t-shirt and boxer shorts. Red boxer shorts.

I laughed and through them over the top of the shower curtain. I quickly grabbed the Barbasol shaving cream and my Lady Bic and shaved a winter's worth of growth off my Red Sox tattoo.

"It's Opening Day, Coco," I said randomly to the cat. "It's Opening Day."

I ran to the closet, naked. Totally unaware that my son's girl friend Tabitha was standing there. Laughing.

I thumbed through my collection of Red Sox apparel...Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz...I continued...Youk, Bay...Drew...I realized that my shirts were in the wrong order...Lowell...Lowrie...Varitek. I scratched my head. Varitek.

I took the plastic off the Varitek shirt and slipped it on. Hmmm. "Honey, did you shrink my Varitek shirt?" I asked.

"No dear. You got fat," she hollered as she tucked her pony tail into the back of her pink cap.

I didn't even care. "Can you believe it's Op..." I screamed.

"I know...I know..." interrupted Kate. "It's Opening Day."

I threw open the window shade.

And then I stopped.

And stared.

In my drive way a puddle formed.

A big puddle.

And in that puddle was a drop.

A big drop.

Then another drop.

Then another drop.

I scratched my head.

I turned around and dropped to my knees. Like all good Jewish boys do.

"Dear God. I know I pray for some pretty wild things. But how about we scrap that World Peace Prayer and give me back Opening Day?"


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