Truce, Boston (Long Weekend)-- / by D.M. Jerman

Oct. 2011
Friday night-

If it starts with a plane it's usually at the airport.
Today we're on the jet as we begin another city misadventure.
Complete with dry contact lens, crying baby up front. Snoring and coughing to my immediate left, and somehow thru a nervous post-smoke stomachache i find it a good idea to order a vodka and coke. My first ever drink on a plane!
And this too after at least 15 minutes on the ground taxiing about as if on a joyride tour of the runway system.
The funk on the walkman kicks in. My shoes are off. It's that time... whatever time I feel like.
The tele glitches before I get in the bird. Reading just after one am tomorrow. Not quite there just yet.
Ketel One is some strong stuff. It mellows out, but not at first like Skyy, which is a favorite.
I talked about it tonight with the boy as we stood by terminal 2 so he could smoke and I could stretch, and we could joke in the indian summer air one last time before I disappear into O'Hare for some recycled air and he back into the CTA for home. His blue eyes and smile flash in the pink sunset post 5pm.
On the way to the bird depot he lets me play with his electronic device. I try the games and make a hilarious to-do list for him to view after i kiss him again near the sidewalk and make tracks.
I'll miss him, but three days away will be perfect.

Immediate right is reading total celebrity trash as I pour in the second vodka over the remaining ice and start my contributions to the burpy gaseous emissions party this airship cabin has so far become to the rock soundtrack out of a music player chalked up with tunes I hope to share with miss Steph, in hopes also of loading on in exchange some of her fave tracks.

Spirit Air does not have an airline magazine or any complementary drinks. The seats and interior furnishings appear torn and old. Repurposed 737? Shit. I've got to get another vodka on the trip home.
I remember again visualising the Dalai Lama's face on take off. It always inspires a pleasantly duped smile.

Sip. Sip. Think... you only brought one pen lady. Maybe they have pens in Boston if you're lucky.
Here are other things you'll do in the hours:
Stretch and get all yogic.
Finish writing in this book. Yeah, easy.
Be lavish with lotion.
Take shots on your new digital (polaroid) camera.

Note: turbulence in 16E. The fashion seatbelt sign is not on.

Saturday Night-

Freshly showered... I clean up real nice.

A gorgeous day has unfolded. And as I write this- hair wrapped in a towel, my "metal heads have more fun" bedtime shirt sported post local watering hole browndog ale to Stephanie's vodka cranberry, I dim the living room lights and sit up on the 2nd futon.
Grab a pen from Alex's (Steph's BF) desk and listen to a siren spin a loud loop somewhere up Cambridge street toward Harvard University.

Yes. I am not in Boston proper, or even Sommerville, where the Stephanoid has dwelled before.
But Cambridge. Near the train trax on Max ave where the #69 branch of the "1369" Coffee shops held me for long enough to drink water and take in more of my book before S got out of her tutoring session and back into the 86 degree day.

The neighborhood reminding me, oddly, of San Francisco in its general building structure. Only a slight slope to the land noted here, however.

Around 4pm after some comedic TV vegetation, we head around the block to a Broadway and a plaza with a hospital and a Marriott featuring a rooftop garden attached to a parking garage. Very plush. We talk as a bride and her maids get photos taken and a grey jay surveys the areas- spinning in the air and ducking with his friends into the bushes, chuckling.
We agree it's time to make the apple pie after this. It is done with pears included.
This and a veggie calzone have been the main staples of the day.
Fortunately, there always seems to be delicious food in Boston.

Sunday Night-

Quarter to nine and we are brains scorched by another day of 86 degrees and sunny and a perverse amount of exposure to the idiot box.

Over the last of the apple pie we made, we watch cooking shows and stretch like cats on the futons.

I poke the internet enabled electronic device for awhile as this goes on. Thinking I should try and listen to some music.

This morning was CBS Sunday programming over "indian toast"- the savory answer to french toast, and then another trip out the door, before noon thankfully, with no destination in particular, but did result in a fantastic visit thru Sommerville, past Steph's old place, to Fresh Pond- the public watershed. A gleaming lake with a ring of bike paths all around used avidly by pet enthusiasts.

One short red line ride from Alewife to Davis Square puts us near Tufts Univ campus and a fantastic Irish pub called the Burren.
Live music just appeared at 3pm- 2 fiddles and a piccolo and accordion, for practice.
Also materialized Steph's pals Gabe and Patrick- Pat being one I hadn't met yet, Gabe's latest beau of a little over a year.

Finally kicked a headache I'd been having on and off for a couple days with 3 aspirin.
Overall I feel good and rested. One more full lovely day in greater Bostonia ought to mellow me out but good.

Another trip to the rooftop garden perhaps- or another comparable park-like green space?
Now that I've taken a bunch of pictures and have a pretty good handle on the camera and its commands and prompts, it occurs to me to grab it up and out of my pocket and take the shot. Great zoom. Got some portraits with the timer and am still investigating the flash and lighting settings.


A holiday (Columbus). Gorgeous and clear and begun at 9am. The day blinks away as I decide to forgo a tattoo for now. and focus on spending time with miss Stephanie in the form of walking along the river and talking and watching more of "the f word" (cooking show) as well as darning my socks, updating my blog, taking a call from my beau and my bro, and briefly again visiting the rooftop deck.
The carillon next door sounds again odd#s of chimes at the hours. And a passenger train as well as freight liners come by, surprising Stephi.
She is yawning by 630 and so I get her to take me for walkies to the grocery plaza.
Chicken, cheese, soda.
A short, shameless (hers) list.
Here's hoping that tomorrow bodes an easy trip to the airport- warm, unhurried, inexpensive.
My charlie card is good until the 14th after all.

Tuesday morning-

The first cloudy one. The sun still shimmies brightly thru skylights and window cracks.
Stephanie leaves as it is still dark- 6am.
Now, after 8, Alex is gone and soon I'll down some instant oatmeal and make myself scarce too.
A long walk and one last train ride and its back to Chi where home is.
Where I know my way around and where my love is.

A clean-up and 3 pieces of cinnamon raisin toast later, I've left a note and am out the door, walking thru and taking a final glimpse at the neighborhood before arriving at North Center and doing the orange-to-blue line jog out to Terminal B.

If I remember correctly, the T used to be a bit grittier, louder, dirtier. More like a trolley than a subway. But maybe that's just the green line.
Last stop on the blue: Wonderland.
Sounds almost fantastical. I'll be left to wonder what's there.

Ive noticed here too, more than ever, and even in Steph's apartment, discarded lotto scratch cards like cookie wrappers or crack baggies, Just everywhere! Makes me think pieces of them might do a decent collage.
I lick prompts off of my hand and listen to a kid scream his head off near my gate. One more ride and I'll try to reconcile an overpriced drink from the last one. The lo-mein at the Chinese food court bucket is actually OK. I put mustard and duck sauce on it for the first time like I know it'll be a tasty blasphemy.

Wisps of clouds curve gentle dimensions into the periwinkle of the sky over Logan International.

A good, relaxed visit in a walking city. Happy and dirty enough to be almost anywhere in America.

A good truce.