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.

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  1. It’s a post about Boston. You really think I was going to make it through without swearing?

About Kelly

Kelly grew up in the suburbs of Boston, mere minutes from the Atlantic ocean. For several years she lived in New York City where she found the two loves of her life: Publishing and David. She moved to the Twin Cities for her husband, and eventually managed to pick up the pieces of her career as well. Although she’s learning to appreciate lakes, she misses the ocean ferociously.

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