Monday, August 07, 2006

All Roads Lead to Boston

And so, I was preparing to leave for Boston. I was trying to find an apartment online, and remembering how badly that had gone on my first Boston adventure (I landed a sweet apartment with a gargantuan price tag), gave up and decided to look for a place when I arrived.

My parents were less upset than I had anticipated, probably because I'd been moping around the house for more years than they cared to realize and were pleased to see me get started again with my life. My mom was teary eyed as I told her that I would stay in a hotel for at least a couple of weeks before I moved to an apartment.

"What about all your stuff?"

"I'll box it up, but can you ship it to me when I get a place?"

"So, you'll live out of a suitcase?" She seemed offended at the thought that the daughter she had raised to keep her clothing neatly folded or hung in her dresser or closet would not be requiring such luxuries for the near future.

"Mommy, I'll be fine. It's okay. It's better than getting stuck in a lease on a place I really can't afford in a neighborhood that's more downtown than community."

"Fine." And she silently started gathering the things I would need in order to safely box up my breakables. She handed me bubble wrap and tape, some old towels I could use for cushions in the boxes and rags once I got to Boston.

My dad took it all in stride, walking in and out of the room where my mom and I stood packing, "I'll clean out the garage when you leave." He always cleaned out the garage when I moved. So, this made my heart ache with all of the times I've left them.

But we all knew that I had to go.

Dawn told me to save her a place on my couch, once I had one, as she fully intended to run away from Sacramento on a very regular basis, "You'll be tempted to start charging me rent, but remember, I'm just a houseguest. Say it with me, 'Dawn is just a houseguest."

After my boss announced my resignation and the reason, my coworkers congratulated me, wondered how I would be replaced (easily, I assured them silently, and probably by someone who cared), and then they heard a rumor about donuts in the breakroom and quickly abandoned our conversation.

Before I knew it, I was standing in my room in the Back Bay Hilton, wondering how the time had gone so fast, how I'd gotten here so quickly, and what on earth I was doing in Boston.

Mike and I talked a few times a day. He had packed up his place in Portland, sublet a condo in Beacon Hill and would be in Boston by the end of the week. He'd take me to our new office the day after he arrived.

Late one night, after a dinner of take-out Chinese from the restaurant around the corner, I rested on the King bed (far too big for one person), sorted through listings on Craigslist. I had found a listing for a one bedroom, with an exposed brick wall, plenty of light and the sights and smells of the North End when I suddenly remembered something very important.

I hate Boston. I hate it with a fiery passion.

I had spent the two years of high school talking solely of returning to California as soon as possible.

And now I was back.

In a city everyone knew I hated, but everyone I knew had neglected to remind me of this small fact or question me on my decision to return here.

There is usually a thin line between love and hate, but for me, there was a thick, thick bar between loving and hating Boston.

Why was I here?

Not for a job. That was the motivation, not the reason.

Not for Hunky Mike, though I might like to think that was the reason.

Then, why?

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