Friday, October 2, 2009

A Wrong Turn in Boston

It's cold this morning -- not freezing, but close enough -- and shafts of sunlight slide beneath the fog in my hayfield like a runner making for home base and, as if in slow motion, just missing being tagged by the catcher. It's the kind of morning you might expect Shoeless Joe Jackson to wander out of the forest, stop, smell the air, then look around and mutter, "Wait a minute, this isn't Iowa."

No, Joe, it's not, but don't worry, it's an easy mistake to make. The train stations in Boston can be wicked when you're from out of town. Trust me, I've been there and it's no fun. Green Line, Red Line, Blue Line -- first you're colorblind and some wise guy has decided color's the best way to distinguish the routes. Then everybody seems to know where they're going but you. Finally, you get on board only to discover the driver doesn't make change and why didn't you know that before you got on because now he has to make an unscheduled stop to let you off and he's going to get in trouble with his supervisor. Tourists.

No doubt about it, Joe, it's tough being a ghost. I mean, clearly, you can't just materialize anywhere. Look what happens. You find yourself in a strange town -- and sometimes Boston can definitely seem that way. Where else does someone tell you they're from Southy when there's nothing by that name on the map? And you thought you were spooky.

Now here you are, standing in a freshly mowed hayfield, nobody in sight, it's cold, you don't have a coat, and some idiot (me) with his dog is waving at you and shouting, "Hey, is this heaven?" It's like how much worse can it get, you know? One wrong turn in Boston, that's all it takes. Now what, Kevin Costner shows up with the rest of the team piled into his Range Rover?

Oops, I spoke too soon. Oh, brother.

(Photo by the author -- note to the reader: all kidding aside, I love Boston!)

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