I have never lived in Boston. I grew up on the North Shore, and I went to college out of state before moving to New York City and then finally St. Paul, so I never lived in Boston.
I had friends who lived in Boston. I dated guys who lived in Boston. In dorms on Boylston Street. In an apartment at the corner of Charles and Pinckney, just a block from the river. Over by Fenway and way out in Jamaica Plain. I spent my summers there, my winter nights. In bars, in alleys, sprawled out on the esplanade. I’ve cried until I thought my heart would truly break in that city. I’ve laughed at least twice as much.
My first memory is of being with my grandmother in a T station, singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with a busker. I was wearing a pink dress.
I have walked the Freedom Trail. I have stumbled through the streets after last call with the full finality of summer’s end in the air. I have driven up on the city’s skyline after too many months away and seen the holy glow of the Citgo sign and smiled, because that is when I know I’ve come home.
I had family and friends in Boston yesterday. Some of them were working, some of them were watching the marathon, and I know a handful of people who were running it. Everyone that I know is safe, and still I am so heartsick for them. I am devastated for those whose loved ones are not as fortunate as mine.
I never lived in Boston, but I always believed that someday I would. My life has taken so many turns, and I know now that living in Boston is one of my dreams that will never come true. I will never live in that city. But I will always call it mine.
Boston is the city of my heart; its streets are etched on my bones. There are no better people, no people more ferociously loyal and fiercely loving, than the people I know there.
I am so fucking1 proud to be from Massachusetts.
I love that dirty water.
- It’s a post about Boston. You really think I was going to make it through without swearing? ↩