Sunday, February 20, 2011

James in the City

Because we are wimpy Texans who are afraid of driving in *ONLY* four or five inches of snow, we are staying in Boston tonight in advance of our flight early tomorrow morning. We arrived in time for dinner so I suggested Union Oyster House, the oldest restaurant in America, fully expecting to get a sandwich takeout from the Au Bon Pain in the lobby of the hotel and eat it in front of the TV. But the "T" stop conveniently across from the hotel was calling our names and after dropping our bags off we were on our way into downtown for dinner.

I wrapped James up like a babushka for the frigid five minute walk to the train.


My mom and I were sitting at a cozy table in a cozy, dimly lit, second-floor room, drinking our wine and talking about all the historic statesman who had potentially sat at that very table when James started to fuss. I settled him in to eat on the right side then did the best I could with my salad with my left hand. It was still very warm and cozy and wonderful, but when I tried to switch him over to the left he seemed intent on calling attention to our situation to one and all.

"The British are coming! The British are coming! My mom's got her shirt off in the Union Oyster House!"

He would NOT latch on. He would NOT stop screeching. So I whisked him away to the bathroom, which was no small feat considering the amount of dark, twisty stairways involved and the half-drunk glass of Cabernet languishing back on the table. I changed a nearly dry diaper and headed back up to our table to give it another try. He lasted about two more bites of salad and several sips of wine before I had to take him out again, this time to a private party room upstairs from our table. I let him eat for several more minutes, settled him down, and headed back to eat my mushroom ravioli. I could have married this mushroom ravioli, by the way. One of my favorite meals of all time. Everything about it was perfect.

Except for the restless baby in my lap. My mom had finished her dinner, so she took James to the gift shop so I could finish mine. I savored the last few bites of mushrooms and sauce and freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little more wine, then followed the sound of the angry newborn down to the gift shop. I secured him in the snuggli and we left raving about the amazing meal and laughing about the atrocious behavior of the newborn.

We had just stepped onto the platform for our train when there was an announcement on the PA. "Attention passengers: Due to a passenger being struck by a train in Central Square, inbound Redline trains will not run until further notice." What the heck.

One of the passengers on our train (which was outbound) had a lot to say about the announcement.

"How the F*** do you get STRUCK by a TRAIN?! I mean, BAM! That's IT! You're DONE! STRUCK BY A TRAIN?!"

My mom and I laughed nervously. This only encouraged him.

"I'm so f***ing high on Angel Dust right now. I'm tripping my BALLS off."

I have never been so happy to not have Charlie with me.

"Have you ever tripped?" he asked my mom.

The CPA-type next to us volunteered "I tried LSD once in college, but it didn't do anything."

"MAN you should try Angel Dust. It's like wee-ooo wee-ooo" He demonstrated by wiggling his fingers in front of his eyes. "I'm tripping my BALLS off!"

"STRUCK by a f***ing TRAIN! I mean, I know you can be struck by a fist. But a train? How does that even happen? What the F***?! How old's the baby?"

"Two months."

"A boy? I have two boys. They drive me f***ing crazy. But I love 'em."

He addressed my mom again "Struck by a train...That's my brother," gesturing at a man with crutches on the other side of the train, "He spent fourteen years in the state pen. I've only done seven! Now I want to be FREE!!"

The train stopped at a station and he got off (which I was very grateful for, he was funny on the train but I did NOT want to be on a dark platform with him!). His brother struggled to his feet with the crutches. The guy stood close to the door of the train and yelled "Hey Jimmy Fund, let's go!" He turned back to my mom. "You see what I have to put up with? Let's go Jimmy Fund!" The doors closed and they left.

Things are going to seem awfully tame in the big gold minivan this week.


Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Sounds like you ran into one of our local characters. Your recall of the dialog paints a vivid picture. The key is to not look guys like that in the eye so they won't talk to you. And if they do, ignore them. Which might enrage them. But hopefully it won't. Enjoy the rest of your stay in NE.

Sarah said...

tripping my balls off. awesome!!! can you IMAGINE your 4 y/o parroting that gem back to you? OMG. james is precious!

Rima said...

This was really funny, I loved the recreated conversation between you and ball tripper!

Glad you got home safe and sound.

sarah said...

Everyone is Starbucks is staring at me right now b/c I am laughing so hard at my computer screen that I'm crying. "tripping my balls off" Oh my.

Phoenix Rising said...

I could eat James in a babushka. Also, this post is exactly why I can never go to a city alone: tripping my balls off!