Say Cheese

Boxes, Burgers and Boston

Along the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts, I walked with my grandfather, my sister, my brother-in-law, and various dogs from the neighborhood. I looked out at the waves gently rolling up to the rocks and saw the tall grasses rustle in the breeze. The path we walked was well worn and the rocky shore was an example of pure New England beauty. You'd think that I might have some profound thoughts while in such a splendid place, with people I care about so much. Yeah, you'd think that.

Not me. I was wondering how a house, along the coast, with less square footage than my apartment, could sell for 750,000 dollars. It was a box. Four walls and a slanted roof. The building itself did not have one, redeeming quality. It was even painted a very dull, blue-grey color. Hideous it was, yet it had just sold for that outrageous sum.

I think it was my grandfather that said to me, "Location, location, location."

I just shook my head and wished that it were my dull, ugly, tiny box.

I spent most of my trip, last weekend, making statements that started with "Ahhh..." as in "Ahh, Harvard Square." It was a completely useless expression that wasted the cold air I was breathing. I was not saying anything other than "Ahh, that place that I remember is still there" which makes me sound like I hadn't been in Boston for at least five years (in actuality it was two months...the horror!). However, now that I feel more at home in the District, seeing the place that I feel inside is my real home produces silly expressions.

Speaking of the cold air, I want to point out that it was only October and the temperature in Boston did make it below freezing. There had been snow falling less than 24 hours before I flew into town. Why do I want to move back there, again?

That's a good question, I suppose. What do I miss about Boston so much? Is it just the people, meaning my friends and family? No doubt they are a large reason for my wanting to return, but is that it? Well, there is the Boston sports scene. If I were back in Boston, it is debatable whether that would help or hurt my social life, as I'd have the option of watching a New England team play just about every evening during the year. I digress. There has to be more than that.

Well, there is the more. Something draws me back there. Maybe it's the look of the leaves in the fall. Maybe it's the bite in the air on an early Spring morning. Maybe it's the burgers at Bill and Bob's Famous Roast Beef in Woburn. As much as I want to travel and see the world and face danger and experience life, I know my place is back in the Northeast.

On the one hand that is a comforting thought...I always have a place to go, always have a place to call home. On the other hand, I've become suspicious of comfort, as it tempts me into settling. I could go back there, find some sort of job, buy a place to live, be with everyone who loves me for who I am. That sounds like a nice life. I'm sure there are people out there that never feel at home, never find people who will love them like that, never have any sort of safety and dream of finding it. They would look at me and shake their heads, I'm sure.

But I can't settle. Not yet at least. I wouldn't mind that box on the shore though.

Posted by Mr. Eff on 10/31/2003

For the moment...

Book: Deep Blues, by Robert Palmer

CD: Brothers, by The Black Keys

Song: "Oh My God," by Ida Maria

Link: Shut Up & Sit Down

Ramble: Just An Idea