The scene: Patsfan is working on her third Miller Lite, sitting on a log by a roaring campfire on this chilly late-September night. She is wearing jeans, hiking boots, and a long-sleeve grey t-shirt under a Tom Brady replica jersey that has been through the wars. She is wearing a knit hat that says 3 TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS, and appears quite happy, kicking her feet back and forth on the ground, listening to the Patriots Postgame on WBCN on a small portable radio.
SOXFAN picks her way up a small embankment toward the little campsite. She is wearing sandals, jeans, and a red short-sleeved t-shirt under a pristine Red Sox home jersey with "38" on the back. She has her hair twisted back in a clip--no hat.
But for their differing facial expressions, the two women are twins.
PATSFAN (belching): How goes the battle, amigo?
PATSFAN: What, they lose?
PATSFAN (suddenly sharp): What's the problem, then?
SOXFAN: Nothing, I just--
PATSFAN: What, you still gotta give yourself 40 lashes as penance tonight? What? What gives?
SOXFAN: The Yankees won, ok?
PATSFAN sits speechless for a moment.
SOXFAN: We're in a dead heat for first place. Exact same record.
PATSFAN cracks open another can of beer, takes a long draught, and looks away from SOXFAN, shaking her head.
PATSFAN: Whaddya want me to tell you? Certainly nothing I haven't told you a million fuck-in' tiimes...
She says this last exaggeratedly and loud, over-enunciating each syllable, gesturing with palms up toward SOXFAN.
SOXFAN: Look, it's not the same for me, okay? It's not the same.
PATSFAN: Same as what? Your team's gotta win right?
SOXFAN: But it's--
PATSFAN: And they've got divisions and playoffs and shit, right?
SOXFAN: There's no reason to be--
PATSFAN: And, you know, one team scores more points than the other, and that's the team that wins, right? You know, I think if I really try? I might be able to wrap my little mind around that. But give me a minute.
SOXFAN: All right, I get it.
PATSFAN: There's a new one.
SOXFAN: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
PATSFAN lights a cigarette, takes a long drag, blows out the smoke toward the fire. She stares into the fire for a moment.
PATSFAN: I mean, you never get anything, do ya. You still haven't seemed to get that they won the World Series last year, right, and they're tied for first place right now! I mean--you still haven't gotten that sometimes there's a glass, let alone that it might be half full.
SOXFAN: You just don't understand.
PATSFAN: You know, you're right. I don't. I don't get why you feel the need to punish yourself like this. And don't feed me that line about it being the culture and the nature of the beast and all that happy horseshit. All that's changed now. It's different! Different, as in, totally different. As in, after the shit they pulled last fall, anything's possible! Like, welcome to the world, dude. You know?
SOXFAN: Oh, yes, because you are an International Woman of Mystery, right? Because you know all about everything. God, people are right about you, you know. You have become arrogant.
PATSFAN: Psssht. Arrogant, huh, that's what they're calling confidence in one's team now, eh? That's what they're calling people who feel there's a good chance their team, and their world and everyone in it will probably be all right after they've won three of the last four championships, eh? Know what I call it? I call it sanity.
SOXFAN: Well, maybe if the Sox win two of the next three World Series, I'll be where you are. But for right now--
PATSFAN: But that's why I'm trying to get you to see my point of view, kid! I'm trying to tell you, you don't have to suffer anymore. Why should you wait to figure it out, like I did?
SOXFAN: But you know you can't just tell somebody something like that. That's something they've got to learn for themselves. Come on. You know better than that.
PATSFAN (mimicking): You know better than that. Come on, what are you, my mom? I know--yeah. I know better. So why do you keep talking all this crap to me when you know I'm right?
SOXFAN (ruefully): And you think you're not arrogant.
PATSFAN: Hey, fuck you, seriously. Sure, maybe I am arrogant, but at least I'm not too stupid to know what I got going on in front of me. At least I know to appreciate the ride and not to spend the whole thing wetting my pants, calling for my mommy, and looking over my shoulder for the bogeyman.
SOXFAN (quietly): You know, people say you're the New York Yankees of the NFL.
PATSFAN (also quietly, but with unmistakable menace in her voice): Okay. This conversation is over.
PATSFAN tosses her cigarette butt into the fire, snaps off the radio, and then stands up and snuffs the fire with a bucket of water. She collects her igloo cooler with the last of the beer and her little radio and turns to go. As she's walking away, she turns back for a moment toward SOXFAN, who's still sitting on the log in the dark.
PATSFAN: Hey, the Pats won too, today. Real squeaker against the Steelers. They were the 3 and a half point underdogs in this game, too, and they won. On the road. On another Vinatieri field goal.
PATSFAN (walking away again): Yeah. Thanks for your interest.