Tough Day at the Office

Man, what a day!

First the racoon. Jess also saw the capture from her office, which also overlooks the parking garage. Lately townie people have started making out there before heading home from work. “Stray racoons and stray couples,” she commented. Circle of life, really.

Then a few hours of honest-to-goodness work before walking to Natick Center to watch the marathon.

Patriots Day is my favorite holiday; it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It heralds the end of a long, drunken, New England winter and the beginning of spring. The trees are fresh with bloom along the quiet streets of Natick. Over in Concord, Colonial reenactors fight British reenactors after the Lexington reenactors predictably rollover to let history take its course. Runners descend upon Mass Bay — the land of my Puritan progenitors — for 26.2 miles of penance, and I go to glory in all of it: cheering fans, swishing hair, agony, and the yearly promise of (with a little extra practice) eternal vigor and youth.

As usual, a half dozen or so of my coworkers also made the 1.5-mile pilgramage there. We yakked alot until the wheelchair racers arrived, before the elite women came zooming through, while waiting for the elite men, and in the spaces between. The men start 30 minutes later than the women and chase them from Hopkinton to Boston; millenia of history repeating itself in the microcosm of cozy, subdued, suburban Natick. (No percussion bands or promises of “Free Beer” for laggards or “Whitley Rocks So Hard!” signs as in Newton’s Heartbreak Hill carnival atmosphere.) We cheered extra hard as the Hoyts passed (65-year-old father running and pushing his son with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair) heading generally downhill on their way to their 25th finish (in 3:45).

Then back to the café at the office to watch . . . the Red Sox game? It was tied in the eighth until I showed up when the Mariners retook the lead. The attempted mutiny to switch to the women’s finish left unspoken but short-lived ill-will between the die-hard Sox fans and most everyone else. The first two Red Sox batters struck out looking in the bottom of the ninth before Youkilis reached first and Loretta homered to bring him home and win the game on the next at bat. Jubilation and then a hasty departure.

The café man changed the channel to . . . CNN? Quickly remedied, we listened to a perpetually drunken-sounding Bob Lobel say that Robert Cheruiyot was too far out (Hereford Street) to beat the 2:07:15 course record. At 2:07:14, I cheered. The remaining Sox fans looked at the crazy man in the back. As more Americans crossed the line, I talked to the husband (and fellow coworker) of a former coworker (and current fashionista B-school student).

Okay. Back to my office, where I was immediately highjacked and dragged back outside to eat ice cream and generally revel in the intermittent sun that took off the early spring chill.

3:00. Finally. Let’s get through a day’s worth of e-mail at least. Success!

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