Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just another weekend in Boston

Friday night found me at the ice cream shop circa 10 p.m. with my sister, Ms. Swamp, and her boyfriend, the Sensitive Bostonian, criticizing a list of interview questions from my sister's school and coming up with far superior ones, then giving practice answers to our own questions. I munched on the fake Pinkberry I had attempted to create, and tried not to feel sad that the result cost $6 and did not contain mochi (which is, in my book, the most important Pinkberry ingredient; the good news is a Pinkberry shop is opening soon in Boston). As we were leaving, we realized that it had begun to pour outside, and momentarily debated whether to hang around or make a run for the nearest vehicle, but the rain let up and we said goodnight and walked our separate ways.

About ten minutes from my house, the drip of the raindrops intensified, and just as I was passing the subway stop I realized that it was getting ready to dump some serious water. I evaluated my choices and took refuge under the subway awning with a few other bedraggled pedestrians, and waited out the storm there. Sure enough, the rain continued to quicken until it was coming down in sheets, instantly soaking anyone who was out there. People who were walking toward the subway changed their gait to a gallop, and I started to notice how the rain brought out primal qualities in the passersby. A group of young men ran in and started howling, at first just a few light barks, then long, full-on baying howls like werewolves. It brought out the teacher instinct in me: “Settle down, boys! You're getting out of hand.” I resisted the urge to say it out loud.

Next along came a group of girls, wearing high heels and tank tops and uttering little shrieks. And then, the climax: A man loped by who I usually wouldn't give a second glance to, utterly normal looking, wearing a green windbreaker and ipod headphones in his ears. He came at an impressive speed, flying through the air, taking giant leaping bounds. As he closed in on the subway station, he turned sideways; he was still going extremely fast, but now it was more of a sideways skip-run. Then, just as he was closing in on the entrance to the subway, his feet slipped forward and he landed with an impressive, perfect smack on his bum. The whole performance looked like it had been choreographed. The other refuge-seekers and I broke out of our mesmerized observation to rush over and see if he was okay, but without a word of reply to our queries, he leapt to his feet with the same impressive energy and enthusiasm, and disappeared into the subway. At that point, I was pretty sure the show was over for the evening, and I headed back out into the rain.

On Saturday afternoon my friend Slinky and I were heading to a barbecue in Cambridge, which, it turns out, is where all the men in Boston live. Boston's funny like that: it's gender segregated. On the way, she reflected aloud, “You know, I feel like for a while we were dating, and now we're going steady.” And it's true: we are now at the two-dates-a-week phase, including a Saturday night, which as everyone knows is a big deal. I'm very happy to have a steady-date-friend in Boston.

Since we were in the male part of town, we were hoping there would be some single men there, and we were not disappointed. None proved to be too interesting, though: there was a nice guy who just wasn't quite cute enough, a Nicaraguan guy who, if you used your imagination, looked like a short, chubby version of Gael Garcia Bernal (or, without your imagination, he looked like a short chubby guy with a Spanish accent). Then there was the semi-interesting but egotistical man in designer jeans who works with the Brazilian (have I mentioned before how ridiculously small this town is?), but whose current project is waaaaaay less interesting than the Brazilian's chocolate machine. It's hard to compete with a chocolate machine.

It didn't matter much since neither of us were interested, but I ruined my and Slinky's chances of meeting someone early in the evening, long before the beer pong commenced. I was chatting with the Nicaraguan, who politely asked me how Slinky and I know each other. I replied the way I usually do when people ask that: “We were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend of ours from New York.” Then, with Slinky's comment still in my mind, I added, “And then we fell in love.” As soon as I said it, I realized that it hadn't come out quite right, but I didn't correct the misrepresentation. After all, even though we're not exactly in love, meeting Slinky has been one of the best things that has happened to me in Boston. Certainly far better than any of the men I've met.

1 comment:

  1. Boston seems an interesting place, would surely like to visit one day. I know its city of intellectuals, heard many Nobel winners live there