- Aperture: f/5.6
- Focal Length: 18mm
- ISO: 400
- Shutter: 1/100 sec
- Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
On the evening that I turned 33, I was walking along Memorial Drive in Boston. To my left, the Charles River stretched in shades of pink and tangerine taffy, a technicolor daydream compared to the cool greens of MIT on my right. All around, couples walked hand in hand, mothers pushed babies in strollers, young men jogged, and pretty girls flirted with invisible suitors on the opposite ends of impossibly tiny silver cell phones. From time to time, I stopped to tap a message on my BlackBerry.
I was happy like the car crash victim who walks from an accident scene unscathed. Dazed. Grateful. Lost. Hopeful. I wondered what the next few weeks would bring. Now I know.
There were things I wished for that never came to pass. Things I passed that I never thought to wish for. A dozen moments I never could have anticipated. Another half dozen I could have lived without. I look back at this image and try to remember how I felt that day. Try to recapture the naiveté. I can’t remember it now. The moment is gone.
Like the cars that wound around the river that evening, it seems now that life is moving way too fast, speeding towards some destination I can’t quite see. And like a child waiting for Christmas, I find myself torn between wishing it — whatever it may be — would hurry up and get here and hoping it never ends.
Just remember that in this moment, this very moment, you are okay, he used to tell me. Let the waters wash over you, through you. You’re drowning in two feet of water when all you have to do is stand up.
And of course, he was right.
I never wrote to tell him I was in Boston. I never wrote to say I had left. The Monitor stationery lies untouched on the desk of an apartment that is now empty. The letter — penned with the beautiful fountain pen not unlike the one I gave to him — was burned, the ashes scattered to the winds of the Boston Harbor.
The words that fall between us are soft. Resolute. Finite. Permanent. Epitaphs etched in granite. A slant of sunlight on a marble floor. And in Boston tonight, the rain falls, steady and cold.
Music: Back to Boston by The Rosebuds