Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I could only be telling this story

the talks that we had are becoming a blur

In the end, I didn’t need pictures. All the places were gone- they moved Cornwall’s across the street and now it’s not a dive, the Rathskeller was torn down, the bagel shop where we used to study expanded and shifted into something sleek and cold, the place we argued over cups of frozen yogurt replaced by a luxury hotel. Nothing is the same. I am not the same and you are not the same. And it used to make me sad, the way the past is just toppled down in favor of the shiny and the new, the way the present is so foreign that it very nearly denies the existence of the past.

But then it is a beautiful day. And a beautiful day in this city is so beautiful that It makes your heart squeeze into a ball and forget every winter, every biting gust of wind that made your cheeks numb. And even though I pause and force myself to recall that every day is not like this, it does not detract from the happiness that passes through me- not a heat wave, but a cool breeze.

In so many ways, you gave me this city, however inadvertently. I didn’t know much about cities when we met. You showed up three hours tardy for our first date, which should have been the end of it. But it wasn’t the end of it, and we had dinner and talked until 3 in the morning. We lingered there under that overpass, talking about everything, talking about nothing, inventing anything to talk about to stretch out the night just a little longer.

We, of course, were doomed, never had a chance. But you imbued meaning in a dingy little patch of green, a stream of stale water, and a warm, humid night. And to think of it now, it all makes such precise sense. I’ll never be sorry that we were destined for failure, because I can see now that what I got instead was so much greater.


On the other hand:

In a perfect example of the multi-faceted nature of the urban environment, my cousin S and I were walking down Boylston Street on Sunday when a scruffy-looking hipster walked by. He was engrossed in conversation but all we heard him mutter, completely out of context, was: “I shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce.”

I turned to S and said, “I was supposed to marry that man.”

It is probably now evident why most of my cousins think I’m insane.

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