Snowflakes in France

Reflections of a 20-something woman in publishing

Category: snow

That’s me in the corner

“Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me…”

The man sitting beside me at the Beantown Pub sings along to R.E.M. as it wafts through the tight spaces in between bar stools and coats. I was just fitted for my wedding dress — which I so long to post for you here but I can’t risk Jon stumbling upon it — and now I’m sitting on the corner stool at the bar, drinking a beer. The bar tender sweeps by me, her hands full of empty mugs, and she takes up the tune with a sweet voice,

“…That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight, I’m
Losing my religion”

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, but the place is full to the brim and I wonder where Jon and his friends will sit when they get here. I take a sip and decide that being alone at a bar isn’t quite as uncomfortable as I expected. And I suddenly wish I had a notebook.

But I don’t. The best I can do is capture this moment in my mind and recreate it later in the week on my blog.

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Weekend! Wee!

Today I’m returning to Boston via my old friend Bolt Bus. It’s the first time I’ve been there since Jon moved here. And how appropriate that I’m going back for my final wedding dress fitting.

In truth, I can’t wait to visit our old haunts. The little Turkish coffee shop near Harvard where words drifted up from corner tables to the wooden beams of the ceiling — most of the time the languages evoked thoughts of spices and colors, my own mental symbols of the East. Of course there were the occasional hung-over college kids. Even Harvard students turn to alcohol during college.

I’m really hoping that we can make it to Red Bones, the best BBQ joint north of … well…Kentucky I suppose. It was right around the corner of Jon’s old apartment in Cambridge.

Paul Revere's statue in the North End

And lest I be too focused on food, I must mention the shops on Beacon Hill where one might find the perfect unique stationary set or child’s birthday gift. Most of all, I look forward to the feeling of history and liveliness that swells up from the North End amidst the cemeteries, statues, markets and pubs.

It reminds me that while Boston holds my own story, the story of how Jon and I dated and fell in love, it also holds the stories of countless others. Happy weekend readers! I’m off to The Olde Towne.

Freezing in good company

Boston was cold. I kept trying to talk, but my cheeks were frozen. All I could do was laugh.

And then there were the socks. Or rather there weren’t socks. I was treading through the oldest cemeteries in America, wondering how long it would take for my toes to get frostbite in ballet flats with no socks. Paul Revere was probably never that unprepared. Though he also probably never wore ballet flats.

We decided to buy some socks for my feet. We walked into a bookstore, not to buy socks, but because it was on the way and we both seemed to gravitate toward the door. He suggested that it would be a good place to warm my feet, and though it had no fireplaces, I agreed. It had enough books to warm even the coldest of feet, I’m sure.

He and I wandered through shelves upon shelves in the same way we had wandered through graves upon graves, stopping to admire some, squinting at the odd names of others, and walking past some with hardly a second glance. I bought a couple, books that is, and one for him as well.

Then I bought socks. Pink of course. With warm toes we continued into the North End, where he was a wonderful tour guide, pointing out interesting things that he knew nothing about, and wandering aimlessly trying in vain to find that one thing about which he knew loads of random facts.

By the time the dinner kiss came around I was having a miserable feeling about having a great time.

“Shit,” I texted to Amanda. “I like him. I like him a lot.”

I’m not sure what I was expecting. To have a horrible time? To be completely awkward and want to leave to save my own continuing embarrassment? To feel stuck with someone I knew hardly anything about and realize I didn’t want to learn anything about him? But then why would I have come?

The guitar player in the restaurant sang an Italian song over our table — thanks to our over-involved waiter — and he continued to strum the final note until we kissed. We did, over the table.  It was a small table with a safety candle (fake flame) in an intimate setting — very close to the other diners.

I laughed. Boston was cold. But the company in Boston was warm and welcoming. I’m looking forward to seeing him again.