As soon as I saw today’s date, I got happy. It didn’t exactly sneak up on me, what with all the 25th anniversary talk in the air, yet I was surprised at the jolt “10.27” sent charging through my system when it leapt out at me from the bottom left-hand corner of our kitchen clock. Who knew the digital readout of a month and a day could serve as such a powerful dose of serotonin?
Here’s what’s great abut October 27, 1986: everything. There is no downside to it. There is no “yes, but…” to it. It was the conclusion to a perfect season and a perfect postseason, certainly as perfect as any span of Met time could be.
After October 27, 1986? Don’t bother me with that today. Don’t bother me with the 25 years from then to now and why no equivalent to October 27, 1986, has emerged, or that no equivalent to October 27, 1986, is detectable on the immediate horizon. Can’t do anything about the former, am not thinking about the latter at this moment.
I’m thinking about October 27, 1986, and how perfect it all was. There I go using that word again: perfect. Well, it was perfect. My team won its championship. Bam — that’s it. That’s the crux, the nutshell, whatever you want to call it. It happened and I walked around with it top of mind for weeks, if not months. I walk around with it in accessible mental storage always. It’s still perfect that the Mets won the 1986 World Series, a perfect capper to the 1986 Mets having been the 1986 Mets, to 1986 being one of two years that will never have to pay for its own drinks as long as I’m at the bar and capable of running a tab on its behalf.
We have two of these. They’re both perfect. The one from October 16, 1969, I grasped on contact though not with any appreciable depth (a symptom of being six). The one from October 27, 1986…oh, that one I got with all the nuance and all the trimmings. I was there for every day that led up to it: all of 1986, all of 1985, all of 1984, all of the fallow years before, everything on a straight line back to October 16, 1969, which was the date when I decided, consciously or otherwise, that someday I would have another one just like it.
And I got it. It took what felt like forever, but I got it. They won, we won, I won — same thing in my estimation. Emotionally, I was voted a full winner’s share. No check, no ring, no trophy, but I got my reward. I don’t display it as much as I do my angst, but I know where it is. I have never allowed anything to tarnish it. I never will.
It was perfect, I tell you. Perfect.