Best Seats In The House

Mark My Words

In the autumn of 1985, I couldn't get anyone to go to New Haven with me. I called up a friend at Boston University. At first she said she'd love to go. Two days later, she called and said she couldn't. Her roommate's goldfish had just died and they were having a funeral.

I had two tickets to The Game, you see. The Big Event. Heck, this game even meant something. If Harvard won, it would earn at least a share of the Ivy League title. But no one would go with me.

These were two great tickets. My roommate had secured them from the friend of a friend's aunt. They were the best seats in the entire Yale Bowl. At least that what my roommate's friend's aunt had told my friend's friend who was my rommmate.

I was a freshman. The Amtrak would leave South Station for New Haven at six in the morning. I was going to catch it and sleep on the ride down.

I awoke at 8:30.

It was cold. I was tired and hungry. I ran to the Freshman Union, in front of which was a bus leaving for New Haven. "Got any room?" I asked the driver.

"Sure," he said. "Twenty-five bucks."

Sure. It was The Game.

When I got to New Haven, I knew I had to sell one of my two tickets. I hung outside the Yale Bowl, huddled in my army jacket, looking like a convict. At everyone who passed by I intoned, "Psst. Need a ticket?"

Today I was like the guy in the slick overcoat who always stands outside of Bright Center selling hockey tickets. "Psst. Need a ticket, buddy? Best seat in the house."

Three people, a man and two women, approached. The two women had seats. The man, middle aged with streaks of gray in his hair, didn't, "How much?" he asked.

"It's the best seat in the house," I said.

"How much?"

I charged him face value. I wasn't much of a scalper.

The best seats in the house proved to be way up in row ZZZ. I settled into my seat. The man who I had sold the ticket to soon followed, climbing up the endless flight of steps, and sat next to me. We didn't speak to each other the whole game.