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April 23, 2013


Wow... if I haven't mentioned it previously, I moved to the Boston Area back in 1981, and lived in various communities for the next 8 years. Eventually I moved to New Hampshire.

I attended a couple Boston Marathons... worked in downtown Boston starting at Suffolk University. From there I moved on, to work at other prestigious places. It's tough to share, but I loved Boston, I simply never felt I fit in, although I almost did. A part of me longs to move back there, yet another part of me never would. Maybe it was my initial experiences in Boston, the security guard at Suffolk University that took an instant dislike towards me - or hatred I might say, and threatened to kill me first chance he got if he found me alone. Yeah, a Suffolk University security guard; did I report him? This was 1981... a blue collar employee didn't report such things!

I was only there for less than a year, but I made friends... one was a woman who provided unlimited help with my resume and encouragement, and no I didn't have sex with her, but the view from her 20th story condo was an orgasm by itself. And there were the long lunches I was able to take resting on the Boston Commons. There was the Italian friend/co-worker who clued me into the fact that no Italian wine was a bad buy. And he was correct.

I lived in Malden, MA initially, well, after a couple months in the Back Bay, which was certainly write to home material, and worked for a time at the Boston Shakespeare Theater.

Think this stuff is easy to remember? It's not. It's years ago, and I'm almost 60. I grew up in a small town in NY State...the pace was slooow... the move to Boston was a second chance... my first being Arizona which ended in disaster. A story I'm not going to go into right now.

I moved to Boston with an invitation from a girlfriend... a nutcase, seriously. But she got me settled in Boston and true to the promise she made me she got me out of that small town. Yeah, living with her didn't last long, and before I knew it I was on the top floor living with a total stranger named Roman who was a rock star... who got home at 2AM and proceeded to eat strange foods and I had to buy a pair of eye-shades to sleep - in my sleeping bag at the edge of his one room. He was gay, but never pushed me. But as a matter of fact I met a lot of people who were gay... and the women were especially hostile towards men, which I found difficult to accept, as what made me the enemy just because I was male?

Talk about motivated... I moved quickly to Malden as I mentioned, to a rooming house. I made friends with an 80 year old sea-captain, and the guy 15 years younger than me across the hall. We shared the kitchen and the bathroom. And one day I met the serial killer that I gladly took a ride with apparently to go to a strip club for a good time, only he went through Boston and Boston PD had a web set for him, pulled us over, arrested him for God knows what and they told me to "get the hell away..." and I did, and moved to Allston/Brighten soon after.

What I'm trying to say is Boston was a blast! I made great friends... but it was really, really difficult. I was so alone, so much, but eventually i found myself, I found friends, and I found a life in Boston. But often, friends moved away. Relationships were different - when you live among millions of people you're not so unique, is what I'm saying. Friendship was a special thing, but the pace was such that things changed quickly. Adjusting to change was key to surviving in the Boston Area. Eventually i realized I wasn't cut out for it, though a part of me still longs to move back.

I think about that as I consider what it's like for immigrants moving to Boston. Congress is reconsidering the Immigration Bill since the Boston Marathon bombings took place.

Two people brought the City of Boston and surrounding communities to a halt... for good reason, but to underscore, my underscore, the difficulty of thriving in a big city like Boston... well, the wrong-doings of two people hardly makes a difference to me. I was minutes away from death myself at one point, and I doubt if the killer, the alleged killer, had succeeded, that I'd even have been found, let alone identified. Life in Boston was difficult, yet it was Great! You almost have to be born there to appreciate it, but then so many people aren't.

One morning leaving my driveway in Malden a guy jumped out of the bushes, asked for a ride, which I refused him. Two days later my car was broken into and much was stolen.

All you could do with the police was file a report, but you never heard back from them. In Allston my car was again broken into, the radio was stolen. I filed another police report. Heard nothing. I talked with my neighbor, a guy 10 years younger than myself. Seems he had a party that night, and he knew "the person' who stole my radio... he returned it to me promptly. Neighbors worked together or not at all.

All told, what I'm  trying to say is try not to judge events in Boston too quickly. It's a jungle, not a small town.

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