Tuesday, May 08, 2012
I split my life into thirds. Ahmed’s bachelor brownstone is now a lovely place for the two of us, the cats, the dogs, and our dear friends next-door. The house in which I grew up still sits among the tangles of wildflowers, lilacs, fruit trees, and dandelions bent on a hostile take-over, sheltering my parents and I. The house in Maine must get lonely these days… Ahmed stops there between Cambridge and Nova Scotia now and then, but we have been too busy to take a vacation, or even a short weekend up, for a while. We miss it.
We spend a lot of time apart, but we always have… for whatever reason, this works for us. I would prefer the spaces between our togetherness were fewer, but I also feel a sense of openness in our relationship because of them. We have always lived this way, with miles between us at least a few days a week. It has strengthened our trust, made our individuality more concrete, and developed a comfortable longing that empowers our desire for one another, even the simple intimacies of breakfast, reading the paper, sharing a movie on television on a rainy night.
But I was struck, today, by the difference between a city life and rural existence. Ahmed called me while I was sitting in line at the drive-through. Copley Square and the Back Bay are in darkness again. Another transformer at the Pru? It’s supposed so.
I told him to be safe. Crime has been getting worse in Massachusetts—all of New England, really. Maine has had a particularly bad stretch of late.
On my way home, traffic was at a stand-still from Webster Street to Delano Circle. A family of swans had come waddling down the hill to move from one boggy-pond to the larger, salt-marsh Flaherty’s pond. They had to cross Careswell Street (route 139, but don’t be impressed, it’s just a country road). The cygnets, five fuzzy little grey blobs of energy, were just a tad too small to make the curb at the edge of the street. Every attempt resulted in a bounce-back that sent one of them perilously close to traffic, and Green Harbor’s citizens were not about to smush a baby swan. Mom and dad were frantic, hovering above, attempting to usher them toward the proper street opening.
Sully—who lives close by—brought out a booster seat, and from ten feet away (parental swan rage is nothing to mess with) kicked it along the lip. Two babies made the booster hop, and the last three joined them by way of ushering… after a fifteen minute feathery-drama, all were safely waddling toward Flaherty’s and lily-pad nirvana.
I like Cambridge and Boston… I loved London. I don’t mind muddling through daily dramas. But given a choice between blown transformers, public transportation break-downs, and hectic swan-crossing snafus? I’ll take the swans.