- Aperture: f/5
- Focal Length: 35mm
- Shutter: 1/160 sec
- Camera: NIKON D1H
Don’t let the vulnerable posture fool you. Boston girls are different. Way different.
They like their toys, and could care less how you feel about that. Sleek Razr phones, shiny video iPods, impossibly tiny digital cameras — all make up the well-dressed girls’ ensemble. The BlackBerrys tend to be reserved for button-downed boys with moussed hair and Messenger bags. Girls here are steeped in a heady brew of pleasure, not work — a joie de vivre that’s intoxicatingly alluring.
From their perfectly manicured nails to their well-shod feet, the message is clear: Don’t make me wait, don’t make me beg, and don’t EVEN think you’re going to tell me no. These girls could rip your eyeballs out, and not only would you like it, you’d ask them to take a limb or two as well, and you’d grovel for the privilege.
They take the subway wherever they want, staring into space, sullenly poking their iPods as if the absolute boredom of it all is excruciating. They hail cabs with a flick of the wrist — no leaping into streets like a starved lioness after a gazelle. They don’t chase anything. Ever.
Why muss hair and nails when all that energy could be used for… more pleasant endeavors?
There’s no shortage of entertainment here, and I’ve partaken of my share. Saturday was spent shopping in Cambridge, where I picked up a new video iPod (black — so, so cool) and a set of Shure E2c heaphones. Expensive? Yes. But music means everything to me. Almost as much as the words I write and the images I shoot. Maybe more because music gives me everything and takes nothing. There are times when the only thing that will calm me is a fast drive and the hardest, loudest rock I can find.
My current favorite song for this is Faint by Linkin Park.. It’s the song I listen to on the way to work; it’s the song I reach for on the subway. I don’t know why. I just got stuck on it when I got here, and I’ve blasted it through so much that I imagine it will always remind me of the Boston experience.
I’m not the same girl who left Tuscaloosa six weeks ago. I came to Boston with the intent to immerse myself in this city, and I did that. My feet are shredded from constant walking, and my fingernails are shredded because I have to deal with stress somehow, especially without my more destructive coping mechanisms.
I find myself wanting to talk about Boston, but not really knowing how to put it into words. It’s so fragile, yet so sharp in my conscious — like a diamond. The beauty, the perfection, the clarity, takes my breath away and leaves me mute with wonder. It wasn’t the big things; it was the little things.
The sharp, pungent odor of the subway — part rubber, part creosote — the contact of my boots as I walk down the stairs, the metallic ting of my token as I toss it in the slot, the rumble that you feel first in your feet, long before you ever hear it, the squeal-scream of the brakes, the blue sparks as metal scrapes metal, the first heady rush as you climb aboard, brace yourself for the sudden jolt and then blessed speed. Short, so short, so frustratingly short before a stop, and then movement again, all dark and light and motion and sound. Intoxicating delirium.
Coming out of the movies late at night, standing on the second floor of Loew’s Theater, watching the taxis line up on the street below, walking outside and hailing a cab in the pouring rain, just one more girl in a sea of umbrellas. I went to seeThe Illusionist tonight. Good, good movie. And in many ways, strangely appropriate for this, my last movie to see on my own here in Boston. We see what we want to see sometimes. Become what we are despite ourselves. There are a thousand worlds that lie beneath every surface, and if that is true of evil, which I know it is, then it must be equally true of good.
I will return to Alabama next Saturday, and no doubt in time Boston will seem like a faraway dream. I hope I remember at least some of the things that I learned while here. And I hope that maybe, just maybe, a Boston girl will come home with me.
Music: Faint by Linkin Park (lyrics)