A Masshole in Full
I spent three days with Robbie in Charleston, and it went by in a blur. The city was hosting one of its best-known events, the annual Cooper River Bridge Run, a six-mile road race that this year drew more than 30,000 runners (the Boston Marathon, by comparison, has about 20,000), which meant it was a zoo at Trio Club. As I watched Robbie tend his bar, I tried to put my finger on how this crazy kid had changed, and how he hadn’t. Whether Robbie has mellowed with age is a topic of profound debate among his friends. "He hasn’t walked into my house naked in a couple of years, so I guess that’s a start," says his old roommate, Brett Marietti.
Robbie has a live-in girlfriend now—which is a big step for him. Her name is Keri, and they seem to work well together. She’s from a farm in California and has a good bit of the Charleston laissez faire to her. "He can be such a martyr on the smallest things," she says, but she’s able to roll her eyes instead of going after him. And she can accept the fact that she’s never going to be the only one who sees her boyfriend naked. "He’s just so proud of himself. He’s always telling me he’s ripped up like a fat girl’s phone number." Whether Keri can finally settle Robbie down is yet to be determined. "He gets up every day, throws on his sweatpants, and goes around and acts up," says Jason Fitzsimmons. "He’ll always be a kid." But I’m not so sure.
It was 6 a.m. on a Sunday when Robbie stuck his head into the guest bedroom and told me it was time to wake up. He had been at the bar until after 4, and had slept about three hours the entire weekend, but he refused to let me take a cab to the airport.
As we drove, I didn’t have anything left to ask him. So I told him something that had been working its way through my head all weekend. "When the people of Charleston think of Boston, there’s a good chance they’ll think of you," I said to him. He kind of nodded his head. "And that makes me proud," I said.
He thanked me, and then he changed the subject. Because Robbie Concannon is no good at telling Robbie Concannon stories.
BILLY BAKER lives in Cambridge. His story about an MIT scientist’s search for the Loch Ness monster appeared in the December issue.