23 July 2009

Context is king

A few weeks ago, I was out in Brighton visiting with my friends Katy E. and Dan P.
They're delightful people and really the only reason I set foot on the Green Line anymore.

Around 10 or 10.30, I decided it was probably time for me to head home - I had an hour T ride ahead of me, after all.

Either the day had been nice and the evening turned cool, or it was just another day that I failed to dress appropriately for the Boston weather. Either way, I was standing on a deserted stretch of Comm Ave, clutching my umbrella and regretting my sundress.

After waiting for the T for a few minutes, I saw a man walking towards me. He was wearing a long black trench coat, dark clothes, and a black fedora.

In high school, he would have been one of the drama kids and we would have been friends.

But this wasn't high school, and he didn't look like the BC and BU kids walking by.

I was on alert.

He walked past me, waved to the outbound T driver, and continued walking up the street.

The whole scene struck me as a bit odd, but my thoughts quickly returned to the unpleasant weather and my desire for an inbound train to arrive.

A few minutes later, however, he came back. Same black trench coat. Same fedora. I was concerned. Where had he come from? How had he somehow looped around the T stop without my seeing it?

As he approached, I started to get nervous. He clearly wasn't waiting for a T, he had waved the last one off. Our little section of Comm Ave was pretty empty, nothing was open, there was just the T stop, and me, standing there.

As he came close, I saw his face. It was rounder, more boyish, than I remembered.

And that's when it hit me.

Of course they were not the same person.

They were two separate men. Hasidic Jews. Just walking home from temple because it was the sabbath.

How many awkward points is that?


Meaghan said...


Julianna said...

about a million, i think ;) although it would have been more if you'd actually turned to run.