Tuesday, July 26, 2016

a love letter to boston

Is it possible to have grown up in a city without ever having lived there?
I dreamt of Boston as a kid; I'd own a narrow brick home, Federalist style, filled with books and hope and a butler. And just when the loss of childhood logic revealed that "not all residents live as the mother from the 1961 Parent Trap did", my family vacationed there. It was a good one. We went on a duck tour, and my brother got to drive the boat, and the captain didn't even mind he was too young to do so. Later, my 8th grade class visited for American history's sake—our alternative to the traditional D.C. trip, since 9/11 had just happened. And soon enough, I'd decided I would go to college in Boston. I toured its universities more than once—the first time with my sister, my mom, her best friend and son. I told Chrissie of a memory I have from then: of my mom sitting next to my Aunt Donna on the T, singing some song from the '80s louder than any one ever should on public transportation; my sister and I laughing; Ryan inching away. And another time, with the college prep summer program I'd begged by parents to send me to. I marveled at a Mississippi boy marvel at hiking gear in Harvard Square, between campus tours. I considered what my future might look like. And though I was not then offered a spot in Boston College's Class of 2010, I spent a secret wonderful weekend nearby with a boy I'd soon fall in love as an undergrad at Syracuse University. Once graduated, heart broken, I would escape from the painful what-should-be that hung in the New York air. I'd be reminded of all that I was and had been. I had friends who lived in Boston then. I still do in fact.
I'd nearly forgotten these stories of such significance, until this past weekend, visting Chrissie. She just moved to Boston for grad school. We walked through nearly every neighborhood and drank too much wine and had all the teary heart-to-hearts. It was perfect.

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