Perhaps I need a more inspiring setting. Somewhere with whitecaps and blustery ridges. Or, at least, with a handsome, overgrown garden out back, where the slugs work their way through the mint plant, where we can sit on the bench and gaze through the treetops at a summer (or autumn, or winter, or spring) moon while leaves from the plum tree drop into our wine glasses, and a sunny lounge, shelves overstuffed with books, looking out onto the street, where people cycle past, whistling.
I like the North End; but it’s not inspiring in that way. It’s the sort of place I’d probably want to live if I had a 9-5 job and a few friends nearby to grab a quick cocktail before Grey’s Anatomy. But I am/have none of those things. Give me my garden. Give me my rainy streets, and my slugs, and my little beautiful bowls of compost scattered about the kitchen, and my piles and piles of books, and I shall write you a story.
But now when I step outside all I see are the skinny North End girls walking their dogs; the old Italian ladies arguing in their floral-print housecoats; men hosing down the sidewalk in front of their restaurants, boys in pants that don’t fit with cell phones plastered to their faces. I smell pizza, and cannolis. It’s a pleasant enough atmosphere, and of all the places I’ve lived in Boston I really do like it best here; but it’s not the same. It doesn’t do for me what I think I need my home to do. And I can breath a sigh of relief when I come inside and fix a cup of tea and curl up in my chair, but the relief is only temporary. My stories are stifled here. There’s no room for story when everyone keeps time to the beat of the 9-5 woman’s heels, and makes sure to be home in time for Monday football (of the American variety). There’s only room for daydreaming.
I like my Laundromat, though. It smells good, and I can sit crosslegged at the table in the center of the room and wait for my clothes to be spun and cleaned and watch everyone else moving around me. I liked that it smelled like Fall today. The air had that feeling. It’s something so subtle—like a texture, something you both see and feel. I know it’s silly to say, but you can just feel the cold creeping in, coming up over the curve of the earth. You breath, and there are little diamonds of winter, sharp and cool, in the air that was—just yesterday, you think!—warm and hazy.