Monday, March 19, 2007

End of the Snow Season


Late March in Boston. The tail end of the snow season. Three inches fell last week and two inches at least remain on the ground, pushed aside by snow plows—-grimy black and grey with roadside pollution. The snow lingers copiously in shaded corners, underhangs shielded from sunshine.

At this time, the city begin to believe that winter has departed. Clunky, insulated galoshes are set inside closets by the adventurous and the believers in best-case-scenario. Pessimists still sport them. The wet cold. The steady drizzle. Sustained sunlight is months away.

Your hands are long and thin. The passage of years will leave them no less freckled, but twenty times more wrinkled. Your nose is beak-shaped, bird-like—juts out prominently from high cheekbones. Facial structure is bony and pronounced.

You're selfish, she said. This was in the art museum not from from Allston, where she had casually dismissed all the great masters as little more than charlatans.

I ran out. So she pursued me outside and I cried for thirty minutes---blubbering like a baby, presenting her a present. She wasn't going to take me anymore. Instead, she was going to dump me on in the side of the road, somewhere near Brookline. Boston traffic gets to some and she wanted me to ride the T to see her and I knew nothing of public transportation, being just a dumb southern boy from Alabama


I must have walked this same block fifty times over—and more so in my mind. The town square’s denizens no longer wear woolen overcoats and drive horse and buggies. Instead they dress in baggy, hip-hop denim with splatter paint running up and down the pants leg.

If one decides to walk past the homeless people resting uncomfortably on park benches, one will find a memorial to some long forgotten prosperous townsperson. Though some acknowledge his name, most know it only as a landmark. These days, the surname is attached to drug deals and inhales of nicotine—it’s a destination, not a means for solemn reverence.

Civil engineers can’t seem to build enough roadways these days. The nearly empty shopping mall will soon be razed to make way for more asphalt and toll booths.

Your nasally mid-Massachusetts hard As stick out when you tell me I hate this place it’s gone to hell this place really sucks it’s so hard to survive these days.

This was in a shopping mall when the only thing that remained was a jewelery store and a coffee shop. And I was solicited for marijuana outside the building, huddled outside smoking a cigarette. He took my indecision to mean something totally other than what I'd intended---You mean you don't smoke. That's good, man. That's real good.

I had just made some cabbie's day. A drive from Worcester back to Boston is over a hundred dollars. She'd just made her quota of the day and I was foolish enough to fork over the money. So we small talked, trying to find where it is I thought I was supposed to be. As it turns out, the cab driver took pity on my fragile frame and directed me towards a hotel for which I I paid too much money.

I remember the beautiful girl who dropped to her knees in front of me, seeing me in my crippled state. And I remember thinking to myself, not everyone in Boston is rude.

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