Monday, July 02, 2007
Aw, but they're cool people (3)
Dover, NH, is a small city of around 25,000 souls, an hour and a half's drive north northeast of Boston. It's been there for almost four hundred years, under one name or another. It was a major textile town in the nineteenth century, powered by the foaming waters of the Cochecho. The mills closed or moved south between the wars. I've not been there myself, you understand - my loss probably - but it sounds like a subdued sort of place, where folk live out their days quietly.
Last to arrive at the Cask is Dover, who hails from this minor metropolis, and takes her pseudonym from it. She's not yet twenty-one, and as such she is an affront to barroom bureaucracy. There's some wrangling with the bouncers, the rest of the party takes a blood oath not to slip her any strong liquor, and eventually she, and her sister (Sister of Dover, 28) are admitted. Dover is about as small as an adult can be without being odd-looking. There's a classic strongman pose, where the beefcake stands legs akimbo, arms raised, with a starlet nestling on either bicep. She'd be ideal for this. I reckon I could support her, on my strong side. So she's ever so slim and ever so tiny, and as is sometimes the case with slim, tiny people she is monumentally loud. Rather than being boorish, this loudness proves infectious however, and it's as if she communicates some of herself, this small bundle of fizzing blonde energy, and pretty soon everyone is shouting or laughing. Sister of Dover is altogether quieter, she doesn't have a clue who any of us are, I suppose. I do my best to be friendly towards her, but I'm distracted by an unusual tattoo on her upper arm. A triumphant Tigger stands on the belly of a recumbent Pooh. Tigger droppings appear to be falling to earth. "Is Tigger taking a shit?" I'm obliged to ask. "They're supposed to be butterflies," Sister of Dover explains. "Why are they flying around his arse?" I'm not sure if I should be amused or disgusted.
It's approaching five o' clock, when the gates will open, and the farewells begin. People get up in ones and twos and say their goodbyes to those not attending the game. It's curious to see the degree of warmth and affection we near-strangers have for one another after just one afternoon which has passed with a click of the fingers. We split up once again outside the bar, having left an astonishingly vulgar tip (Surviving Grady people are high-rollers). Another kidnapping scenario, involving both JET and the waitress flashes briefly through my mind. I take a deep breath as we head towards the park.