zembla goes east, part 1: boston, you're my home

The pilot announces our approach to Logan International, and instantly I am awake. The word "Boston" caresses my eardrum like the tongue of an ambitious lover. I grab my carry-on bag from beneath the seat and walk down the aisle, towards my destiny. "Thank you for flying America West," smiles the flight attendant, as she shoves a heaping spoonful of clam chowder into my mouth. "Go Red Sox."

From the airport, it's onto the T, Boston's version of "BART", or the "subway". I step towards the agent, but before I even take out my wallet, John Ratzenberger tosses me a token and winks. "Little-known fact," he says. "Boston kicks all kinds of ass." I feel my affinity for Boston grow.

Everyone on the train is wearing Red Sox caps. They view my backwards-facing SF Giants cap with apprehension and distrust. Still, in my pink cheeks, pale skin, and pretentious demeanor, I imagine they can almost recognize me as one of their own. I cautiously ask, "How about that David Ortiz?" Immediately, the car is full of laughter and applause. A tall Jewish man in a tweed jacket offers me a sip from his flask of whiskey, while two intellectual-looking lesbians high-five. The taste of Boston burns my throat and warms my heart.

I exit the boisterous train at Harvard Yard, the chants of "Yankees Suck" echoing behind me like a grand reverberation of sound. It was just as I'd always pictured it. Sons of politicians walking hand in hand with daughters of captains of industry! Well-read bums dispensing wisdom about life, not just books! Number 4 Bobby Orr parking his car in Harvard Yard discussing plans to drink Cutty Sark after dark with Marky Mark! I swallow another spoonful of chowder and head for the campus. Outside Dunkin' Donuts, an angry Southie youth asks me how I like dem apples, and I reply that I like them just fine. We hug for a long time.

The grand campus stands before me invitingly, brick buildings that seem to say, "Hug me. Love me. JFK went here." I pass the Lampoon's Castle. I see the home of Hasty Puddding. I go to take a picture of John Harvard, but Robert Urich, TV's "Spenser: For Hire" stops me. "People pee on that," he warns me. Then he feeds me more clam chowder.

When I arrive to meet my friend Monica, she is not there. I sneak into her building, like a character from a classic movie like "Love Story," or "Stealing Harvard." It is chilly in the hallway, but my passion for Boston won't let me freeze. Through the window I see the Charles winding its way into poorer sections of the metropolis, and my heart nearly bursts with love. The Chuck is beautiful in the hazy early-afternoon glare. Already, I love that dirty water. Boston, I whisper, you're my temporary home.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on October 20, 2003 6:38 PM.

stories about my sister molly, part 3: earmuffs! was the previous entry in this blog.

zembla goes east, part 2: the harvard teen girl squad is the next entry in this blog.

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