Mother and child.  Where are they going? One thing is certain. At the other end of the young girl’s gaze, the boardwalk take-out shack. Sugar and grease. Ambrosia nectar.  Soft spirals of liquid heaven, sizzling sow, cookie frisbees and fried dough.

The Boston Starbucks teapot, beneath a hazy, delft heaven.

Saturday. I am driving into Boston today to brng home your work things.  Your last day on the job. Your last window view of the golden domed statehouse cross the commons. Your last late night typing down the posturing pontifications of portly politicos. Your last dive into the desk candy drawer. The last time copy paper pilfering. I park in a subterrainian garage, slowly wend my way to your office on Winter St. capturing urban images. At the Park Sq. T stop I pause at the pedestrian-clogged gateway to the Commons, hand the ubiquitous black crazy lady a five spot. She blesses me, her eyes scanning the emerging riders blinking back the sunlight for the next buck. A Freedom Trail Ben Franklin wannabe is warming up a brood of rapt history buffs. I punch in your number, peer up towards the fifth floor, your office above Finagle a Bagle. “Hey,” you say, expecting me. “Where are you?” “Down here.” I call back. “Look out your window.” I watch the glass, the flutter of movement, you leaning forward to peer out. You are smiling.  Click.  

I inherited a love of fire apparatus from my father. Pausing at a red light, the corner of Nantasket Ave and A Street in our adopted Hull hometown, I turned just in time to snap this picture before the traffic slithered onward. A dusk shot, the soft glow of the red fire orbs, patriotic bunting, the gleam of polished chrome. Muscled chariots waiting for fire. Norman Rockwell at his easel. I almost want to torch an abandoned building just to hear them sing.

Boston street kids, hopped up on cell phone mojo, watching the world river flow by.

Ocean sunset. On the highspeed ferry, making the evening crossing to you on a Friday night, tourists crowd the western rail, snapping off sundown shots. A fiery star kissing the waters. We are just passengers on God’s leaky ark, and for this divine moment, true believers again.

The Vietnamese grocery in Quincy always smells of decaying chickens, and everything has way too much sugar and Red Dye #6 in it, but I am always drawn to the iced fish in the back. Skinny kids in aprons and high rubber gloves, brandishing filleting knives like Viet Cong freedom fighters with machetes carving up forest paths to victory.

Only in a city. A high tech lemonade stand, trolleying home to watch the Red Sox game.

Living statues, heading to work in the Boston Commons.

Everywhere you go, the weirdly wonderful bald blue pates of the Blue Man Group are eyeballing passersby from lifesize posters. Will the last child who hasn’t paid $75 to see them spritz paint on kettle drums please stand up.

Old North Church, and highrise leering down.

The mute playlist of a million Ipods, a million street crossers, smothered in silent stereo obsessions, startled by shuffle disguised as random improv, earbuds strapped to auditory nerves like insectile antennae.

Praying to the God of Retail. Borders courtyard. Starving indians, in bronze tableaux, eternally fucked by the British Invasion: John, Paul, George and Ringo.  

 All sisters hate their brothers sometime. Especially older sisters, out for a stroll in their summer dress. “Brat,” she whispers, breathes soft life into her abject misery. “Life was soooooooo…….much better before you came along.”

Decisions. Nantasket boardwalk. He’s starving. She’s exhausted. The light is fading, like an old man about to fall into a dream.

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