I’m not sure exactly what brought on this memoir. A week or so ago, I just happened to be wearing my MIT sweatshirt when a patient asked why I had it. When I stated that I used to live near campus, he asked where, since he went to school at MIT. When I gave him the corner I lived on, it thrilled me to know he knew exactly where I was talking about (I didn’t ask, but it might have been due to the “famous” karaoke bar right under my apartment). Remembering Boston gave me a smile.
A few days ago another patient overheard a comment I made, which of course now I can’t remember, but I remember his reaction to the comment. He said: “Hey look, Boston wasn’t all bad! That’s the only positive thing I’ve ever heard you say about Boston, but at least there was something!” That comment shocked me, because even though yes, there were a million reasons to hate my experience at Boston, there were also millions of reasons why I loved it. And so today, for no real reason whatsoever, I started thinking of all the things I missed so very much about Boston. And now no one can ever doubt how I really feel. In the great words of Jack’s Mannequin, “I’ve said it now and there’s no turning back.”
I miss my 2 favorite gelaterias. I especially miss that I could make it from my apartment to either of these abodes of heaven in Little Italy within 10 minutes.
I also miss eating panini with real prosciutto.
I miss my favorite walk along the Charles. I would walk from my apartment, meander through MIT, stroll along the Charles, cross the bridge and finally end up at BU.
I miss the T. I miss decent public transportation. I miss that sense of freedom, the ability to go almost anywhere you could want. For whatever reason, I often feel the need to run away, and running away is never so cathartic as when it is done on a train, last stop Wonderland.
I miss the crazies (and the students) that would perform in the T stations. Especially the random unkempt Russian dude that played Mormon hymns on his guitar.
I miss the history. Growing up in Oregon, there isn’t anything older than 100 years, except for the trees. Boston helped me understand what it was all about, and why it was worth fighting for.
I miss the fact that since so many people are college students, you can get away with (and purposefully enjoy) dumb things. I can’t even count the extreme amount of ridiculous things I did chasing rock stars. And I don’t regret a minute of it.
I miss the cute little houses in Charlestown. Partly because they were so quaint, but mostly because if I was walking next to these cute little houses it meant I was only a couple blocks away from some serious fun.
I miss all of my friends. There are too many to count.
I miss the clam chowder at Legal Sea Food. I don’t even think other clam chowder should even be allowed to carry the same name.
I miss the MIT hacks.
I miss living only a couple blocks from the mall. So many great retail therapy trips happened there. My wallet, on the other hand, doesn’t miss that.
I miss the hole in the wall places to eat.
I miss the little librarian lady who knew me by name. Probably because I was the only patron who wore a hideous neck brace, but still…
I miss the genius that resulted in being too brain-damaged to pay attention in class. For example, my creative exploration in Italian poetry which produced, in my humble opinion, quite a masterpiece: Forse
I miss the Museum of Science.
I miss things being wicked.
I miss the 4th of July. No other city can even compare.
I miss the awe of Harvard. 16-freakin’-36!
I miss Newbury comics.
I miss the Red Sox. I miss the Green Monster. I miss hating the Yankees. I miss Sweet Caroline. I miss Fenway. I miss heaven.
I miss the Boston temple. I know all temples are houses of God and are equally important, but this temple is where I first realized just how important they really are.
It’s true. My year in Boston was without a doubt the hardest, most miserable, worst year of my life. But it was also the most sacred. I have never felt so much pain as when I have lived in Boston. But it is also where I have felt most the great love Heavenly Father has for me. Because of Boston, I know without a shadow of a doubt that my life is in God’s hands, and he is enriching my life with so many indescribable blessings. As President Uchtdorf so recently discussed, this is where I learned “compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God”.
No. No, I don’t hate Boston. In fact, I don’t think I could ever imagine my life without it. I will never be the same. I will forever be better.