On my way to class this morning, more strangers were smiling on the street than I’d ever seen before. In fact, look outside now, if you can, because it’s pretty much the only time you can get Bostonians to smile, and look happy, on their own sidewalks.
It occurred to me on Sunday night that when, in 2004, the Red Sox won the world series, I was also in the North End. I was slouched in a sort-of-friend’s couch, drinking whiskey straight out of a little tumbler and dozens of just-baked cookies. We thought it would be a good idea to bake cookies. I don’t know. And all I wanted to do was go home (my parents were arriving in the morning, I didn’t want to be hungover, I had class at some obscene hour, we weren’t even celebrating the Red Sox any more), but everyone else was stuck in some sort of quasi-intellectual roundabout conversation about The Alchemist and their own selves. I was bored by it all. And hungry.
So my first year here, they broke a curse. This year, my last in Boston, they’ve done it again. I fell asleep in my own quiet studio listening to beer bottles breaking and people shouting.
We watched the parade from a second-floor window. Then I made the mistake of going outside. I was only walking half a block, but it must have taken me two hours (possibly that’s an exaggeration…)
Strange people kept waving at me from the street. Chants of “Yankees Suck”. And what, I think, do the Yankees have to do with this? Well, nothing, really but they can’t very well chant, “Rockies Suck”, can they? That would be utterly unsportsmanlike.
I think every state trooper in Massachusetts is on Boylston Street. Except for the group that were in the bus behind the Duck Boats. I am seeking refuge in a café until the streets unclog (which they have just begun to do). I’m sounding very cynical, I suppose. It’s only that my mind this morning is full of practical things: how to get to class on time, when my new checks will arrive so I can pay my electricity bill, etc. But really, what I mean is, so the Red Sox, appropriately enough, frame my college years in Boston. There are worse things than to see a lot of eastcoasters smiling (for once).