a juxtaposition of worlds old and new.
skyscrapers taking counsel with their centuries-old kin.
the river charles.
gentle waves nudging endlessly upon forgiving banks.
each as storied as the brick sidewalks they neighbor.
a maze of one-way thoroughfares,
charmingly circuitous routes granted life by
the treadmarks and footprints from
generations of commutes and strolls.
whose hands have built these streets,
and whose feet have walked these paths?
whose laughter and tears have graced these places?
pores and cracks filled with the silt and sinews
of human experience.
those perfectly crisp two weeks,
which fall with such serendipitous precision
between dog days and frigid nights.
the roar of a spirit, ever-vigilant.
proud of its history and confident in its future.
a town which cannot be shuttered.
not by shouts of revolution, or fear or joy or sorrow;
not in winters which carry bone-chilling wind and snow,
nor through any challenge which dares befall it.
roger – a man who cuts a mean head of hair.
angled, auburn eyes and a crew cut.
he speaks in mumbles from the corners of his mouth
as if he were constantly spilling secrets.
hanging above his stylist’s chair; a picture of boxing gloves.
diana – a soft-spoken yet bright-eyed barista.
nametag, cursively penned in colored chalk
and flourished with half-smudged hearts.
the ivories of her early morning smile always
seemed to hold back a tongue full of words.
the impossibly cheerful homeless man,
with dark, gravely skin; full, ashen lips resting
beneath a weathered nose and deepset eyes.
perched on a box, in the street, sing-talking to passersby:
“does anybody have any change, change, change?”
rory – a texan-turned-parisian-barkeep,
whose hazel eyes dart mischievously
under a loose-fitting black beret,
as he deftly mixes magic and memories,
from behind a scuffed, nickel bartop.
adventures on balconies and rooftops.
single-malt scotch and hand-rolled cigars.
that wooden bench on commonwealth.
anxious journeys on the amtrak.
fifteen-course dinner parties.
emergency room visits to mass general.
lord of the rings marathons.
zebra-print snuggies and chutes & ladders.
mid-day dance parties.
red sox: world champions.
early morning flights out of logan.
a marathon in memoriam.
friends and loves, made and lost.
where the traces of the man i was to become
first filtered through the sieve of experience.
pieces annealed in a crucible of
failure and suffering and heartbreak..
forged by pain, yet quenched by such sweetness;
friendship. love. and kindness.
all things, both meaningful and menial.
and – quite simply – always will be.