We departed Tuesday afternoon from Montpelier towards the U.S., to  Boston.  Just two days beforehand none of this was happening, but thanks to the internet and our willingness to shell out $60 a piece we were now heading to see the Celtics in game one of their round two playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaleirs and their formidable superstar Lebron James.  Scott, for his part, once again came through by bringing along some incredible music and a strand of marijuana that would make an astronaut high.  We arrived in Allston at the same incredibly affordable hostel that we stayed at in January when we made this same trip.  True to form, we stopped at the first bar we came across and had a beer and then we walked a few blocks and hopped on the green line which took us to Bukowski’s.  We drank a handful of beers from their great bottle selection and filled our bellies with their “world famous” hamburger with crunchy peanut butter.  When we made this trip in January, Scott had gone for this thing but I wanted something a bit more, um, familiar.  Not this time though- I figured it would be way too lame for me to come to this place twice without ever trying this monstrosity.  And man, there’s surely something to be said for a hamburger with crunchy peanut butter (and I mean, there’s like an ice cream scoop of peanut butter on this bastard!).  Things really get strange once you get to the bites with the tomato, onion, and pickles.

With our bellies full and a good amount of beer traveling through our blood, we took the green line the rest of the way down to the Boston Garden.  I should have known the surrealism was only going to get surlier when, walking through a sea of green-clad Celtics fans we passed some fool in a dog/bear/something costume standing on the street corner with a megaphone chanting “Lets go cavs”.  Up and up the stairs we went until there were just no more stairs to climb.  We each got ourselves two beers ($6.25 Buds, if you’re wondering) and made our way to Section 328, row 13; this wasn’t the nosebleed section, this was where you get altitude sickness.

As we stayed loud and rowdy, standing, sitting, standing, sitting, cheering “M-V-P” every time Kevin Garnett touched the ball but unable to get the rest of the crowd to join us (they had just given the award to Kobe Bryant earlier in the day) there was a sense of inevitable victory and bliss throughout the building.  Then all the drinking started to come to light.  First, in his excitement Scott had spilled a little bit of beer that landed on the 12 or 14 year old kid in front of us: oops.  Then it was my turn to be the obnoxious drunk, and I accidently got the kid squarely on the small of his back: double oops.  We tapped on his shoulder and apologized, promising to leave the beers on the floor next time we felt the need to stand and shout (which was often).  The really sweet lady next to us (“you’re staying in Allston? gross”) supplied us with this gaudy, Mardi Gras-style Celtics necklace which we gave to the kid as a peace offering, which he seemed to really like and his father next to him seemed to think was a decent attempt of making right.

At one point, returning to get one more round (expensive, hell yeah, but hey, when in Rome) I encountered a guy in line wearing of all things a Mike Bibby shirt.  For those who don’t know, Bibby plays with the Atlanta Hawks and in their round one playoff series with the C’s he made the audacious move of calling the fans in Boston “fair weather”.  As I started heckling this guy others in line joined in, and though I could see that this had the potential to turn ugly, quick, there was no way in hell that I was going to let this guy wear this shirt, in Boston, at my first playoff game.  He argued back, to his credit, but it was a dying cause on his part.  “Biiii-bbbyyy” we chanted as we waited in line.  “Rondo’s better” we egged.  Even the guys serving the beer got in on the name calling and laughing at this moron.  Though I nearly incited a small riot (er, a pummeling was more like it) in the process, I had succeeded in my goal, whatever it was.

With the game winding down, the Cavs had taken the lead and Paul Pierce had a mere 4 points; Ray Allen, zero.  It started to get a bit nerve-racking, but in the final 1:30 the C’s took the lead and held on: playoff victory.  The cheering, the jubilation, the excitement: it carried us all the way back to the subway line and back to Allston.

There, we made our way to a bar called Deep Ellum, which a friend had highly recommended to Scott.  One thing I’ve learned about him, when he knows of a good place for drinks, it’s game-on.  This place’s beer and drink list made Bukowski’s look like a collegiate team in the professional league.  Max, the owner/bartender, couldn’t have been better; talking to us about beer and cocktails like an oceanographer talking about the tides.  Mind you, at this point memory fails when asked to recall the details, but it was just plain perfect.  Max gave Scott a very nice bottle of bitters as a parting gift and we were on our way, having succesfully closed the place down and made a new friend.  We made one last stop for last call on our way to the hostel (completely unnecessary, but it had to be done).

It was mission: accomplished.

I woke up in the morning in my bed, fully clothed and in fact with my shoes still on and clutching my cell phone in hopes of more messages from Carrie (which she sent, but which I slept right through).  We left the States and headed back North to the bubble we call Vermont.  Life, my friends, does not get better.

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