One thing I do miss about my time about CalSports is the travel. Calling lacrosse games, they would send me to wherever the teams played, and though I often didn't get much chance to see the city, there's something nice about leaving the hotel room with the bed unmade, having no excuse not to eat out, and not taking the scenery around you for granted. Boston Today is run on a tight budget, so I generally don't travel with the teams; I just blog while watching them in HD and augment that with whatever comes over the wire. The Red Sox in New York is a special occasion, though, where it's worth it to put me on a plane (the train isn't much of a savings) and have me on-site, visiting enclaves of New York Sox fans, getting interviews with players, and generally giving more in-depth coverage.
Not that I got much time to see New York; Sox-Yankees is intense, especially when it's an epic, season-changing ass-kicking that results in a respected veteran getting kicked to the curb. Still, I told the newly-single Ray that I'd spend some time with him in the City over the weekend. He was excited by the prospect, said he'd leave Boston right after work, and then meet up with me after the game. I told him I'd need an hour or so after the game to get interviews done and stories filed, but he said that was cool, just give him a call.
Then, of course, the game went fifteen innings, featured the debut of a much-heralded young pitcher, had the "Alex Rodriguez, clutch hitter" angle... By the time I got out of the park, it was almost 3am, and I wasn't terribly surprised when Ray's phone went straight to voice mail. I left a message saying that I was going to have to hit the hay, then get back to the ballpark around noon to start coverage for the 4pm game. I joked that at least that wouldn't take us much past eleven at the worst-case scenario, and New York is just getting started then. Then I crash.
I get up around ten o'clock Saturday, have a quick breakfast, and make a few calls while I'm on my way to the Stadium. First is Ray, and I apologize profusely for the previous night, although someone following the Red Sox in recent years shouldn't be surprised. I ask him what his plans for the day are, and he mentions some college friends he's looking to connect with. I say that's cool, and then call Mark.
Ginessa, that is. I guess I'm the only person still posting regularly who hasn't seen her since she settled into her new life even more thoroughly than Lyn has. Still, I figure she would know a good place to get a late dinner that wouldn't rely too much on screwing around with multiple subway lines. She's excited to hear from me, though, especially when she hears I'll have a date. Of course, she also says I should have called her to hang out the night before, even if it was 3am. Anyway, she says she'll talk to Gavin, make sure we've got a reservation someplace nice.
So, another game, another loss and even though I haven't been in Boston quite long enough for the Sox to be my team, I've got to interact with a lot of readers online, and that's a heck of a lot more enjoyable when they're winning rather than losing to New York in spectacular fashion. It only runs three-twenty-eight - positively sprightly for Sox/Yankees - I get out at quarter of nine, and Ray's there to meet me. We hug kind of awkwardly, and the kiss is also kind of weird. It's right out in the open, we don't know what it could lead to, and it's got a whole lot more history to me than it does to him.
We can laugh about how weird it was, though, and take the train into Manhattan. The place is fancy enough that both Ray and I feel under-dressed, but a waiter escorts us to Ginny & Gavin's table.
Ginny is - well, she's a supernova. I don't think she's had surgery or anything, but her boobs and butt seem fuller than when I last saw her in Maine, when I'd just become Liz and we were scattering to the four winds. That may just be because she's dressing to accentuate her curves rather than trying to hide them under a baggy football jersey. She wears some expensive jewelry, too, which not many of us other boys-become-girls do (I wore tiny studs in my ears as Liz because I didn't want them to close up before I gave her her form back, and a little more now since I got in the habit from appearing on TV out west, but nothing big). She greets us warmly, saying she thinks its so cool that I'm writing about sports and she's heard so much about Ray, before backtracking and saying she hasn't really heard that much - just for a few months, and "Penny's been discrete, of course!"
Gavin was exactly what I should have expected, but didn't, really. He's got to be twice Ginessa's apparent age, older than Mark would be if he'd never gone to the Inn. He's thinning up top, wears glasses, and if someone asked me to estimate the likelihood of his being gay without showing me Ginny, it would be right around the fifty-percent area. He's nice, though - picks up the check, argues about the ballgame with Ray in a friendly manner, pulls Ginny back when she's threatening to get crazy. He makes some fantastic recommendations, too - the man knows his food.
Afterward, we go back to his hotel room, where there's a nice King-sized bed that kind of scares the hell out of both of us. At first we just lay there for a while, enjoying the fact that we don't have to hurry it. We talk. I tell him I really didn't want to break up his engagement, but he says I didn't - that he and Liz finally realized that they were more like brother and sister than boyfriend and girlfriend, and there's no hard feelings. Even if I'm around? Yes, she's going to forgive and forget. Wow.
Then we make love. It's slow, and nice, and kind of clumsy. It's not like the rushed screwing we did behind Liz's back, or what we did when I was Liz. It exhausts us, but we feel good afterward. I fall asleep in his arms, which isn't something I've done with a man (I don't think) since becoming a woman.
The next morning, we find a bagel place before just walking around the city for a bit. We can't really do much - starting around noon, I'm getting a message on my Blackberry every fifteen minutes or so, and I've got to tap out a few slightly-larger-than-Twitter-sized bits of content for Boston Today's blog. It's a nice day, and I'm sad when five o'clock comes, and he leaves for the drive back to Boston and I head out to the Bronx for the series finale - especially since it doesn't look like we'll have time to meet up again until this weekend.
I am looking forward to it, though - he's got concert tickets for tomorrow night (tonight, I guess), so that will be even more like a real date. If this is what having a regular boyfriend is like, I suppose I could get used to it.