>Let me tell you the story
Of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket,
Kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the MTAMetropolitan Transit Authority, now the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ([MBTA](http://wikipedia.org/wiki/MBTA))
>Charlie handed in his dime
At the Kendall Square Station
And he changed for Jamaica Plain
When he got there the conductor told him,
“One more nickel.”
Charlie could not get off that train.
>Did he ever return,
No he never returned
And his fate is still unlearn’d
He may ride forever
‘neath the streets of Boston
He’s the man who never returned. Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax-Hawes. http://www.mit.edu/~jdreed/t/charlie.html
In the old days, way back in 1630, it took two days to get a shipment of frieght from Winnisimet (Chelsea) to Boston, and by ox cart at that. Today, the trip via passenger train takes 10 minutes. This may not be true.
>On a normal saturday in June, 1909,… the number of passengers compelled to ride without seats was 88,490. –Ralph E. Heilman, “The Chicago Subway Problem.”The Journal of Political Economy, 22:10. (1914) pp992-1005.
The first chartered transportation service on the continent was born to replace this frustrating circuitous journey through Malden, Camrbidge, Brighton and Roxbury. A leisurely ferry ride across the harbor. Of what did the Boston air smell? Surely, the stifled city breeze was not yet even a speck on the horizon… What colors were the waters of Boston harbor? The infamous Charles river?
The railroad, it means many things to this people. _Tink… Tink… Tink… I’ve been a-workin’ on the_ the metronomic slaving of sledge against iron, spike inexorably driven deeper into the virginstolen earth. Our ancestors, or perhaps the slaves they brought, or the workers they hired — those who built a country out of blood, sweat and tears. Good ‘ol fashioned hard work. Don’t see much of that anymore, not these days. The few who wield a hammer do so with righteous indignation, and only between catcalling a passing piece of ass.
As if the first railroad workers _didn’t_ ogle women? If they didn’t, it was only because there were none. Whatever version you tell, it is still just that, a story. You join in with all the other bodies. Down, descend into the bowels of the city, hot stale air rushes past, floating to freedom. Further into the holes carved by sandhogs, or those huge tunnel-driller machines that chew through the bedrock pillow, it’s seismic shocks lost to those above. The ground-rodents, if there are any left, are the only ones who sense that something is wrong, something is different. They run into their burrows to hide, safe with the young — but the feeling only grows stronger– deeper, darker, louder. Instinct has failed.
I rode the T to work almost every day of almost every summer since I was 16. A quick, lonely walk down Beacon Street in Newton Center. Beacon Street in Newton Center is similar to Beacon Street in Boston only by name and lineal continuity. My Beacon Street leaves the quaint Victorians for the anachronism that is Newton Center proper. When we first moved here, my parents remember for me a 2 screen movie-theater, a hardware store… an assortment of other stores that sold things beyond boutique jeans and mortgages. Newton Center is the new banking capital of Newton. Who knew there could be so many banks? Everyone I know goes to one of two banks. In Newton Center alone, there are _at least_ 822 separate bank branches. Sky scrapers cast morose inky shadows and blot out the daycare I remember. They have since posted floodlights above the playground, which are used only during daylight hours. The buildings are comprised of alternating shops and banks, one to a floor, a thin winding twisting monstrosity of a structure, all the way up up to the reaches of our little slice of ionosphere.not really, but you get my point
Teenage girls, fresh from inoculations
Uggs are ugly, and are everywhere.
He blow-dries his hair, but his girlfriend has a bulbous forehead.
The asians always shop together, as do the skinny white girls with long pony-tailed hair, but the three black girls are alone.
>The grey one that she left on the bench was the last one
>I know it seems like an excuse, but you’ve never seen me like that —
he’s fat, each ass cheek requires dedicated real estate in his motor cortext. They are anti-. _Fuck conventional standards of beauty. Tattoos creep out of his Finnish heavy metal hoodie, “COBHC”. He is one of the Hate Crew, he proclaims. She has self-conspicuous dreads. Neither look especially comfortable in their own skins; their only hope for avoiding pity is dashed.
_Mommyy wears her fur when she takes me shopping, she says it keeps the dogs away._
>Come this way…
The lymphatic system was a mystery of science until the invention of women’s retail clothing stores. Suddenly, as is often the case, the volume of lymphoma-and-related cases exploded–all were husbands forced to endure retail hell for their post-war wives.
One male sales clerk is clean, and standing too straight to be straight. He fades to the first floor like a wanderlust ancient sarcophagus, poised and stationary in his rigid dimension, arms solemnly crossed across neat t-shirted chest; he is facing off against an imaginary adversary. The Jets and the Sharks.
>This is kind of bohemian…!
An asian girl wears gold flats and jeans, but her lipstick is too pink. She looks surprised because her lips are glowing subtly.
A girl is a relief, etched from soft stone. Her face is caked in color but swarthy skin glows through. Hair shoots, out and unnatural straightened-down burned frayed, infirm and imprisoned. Her legs are darker than the leather of her Uggs and are bare despite the chilly winter afternoon.
Green stripe wags her finger, bouncing to the pretentious indie-share [sic?]. Mellow, reassured; the world is at peace. Spend your money…
>I mean, if you lost eight pounds, you wouldn’t be _emaciated_…
>I see what you mean…
>I mean, weight _sucks_!
Young asian man, clean-cut-model. Places with purpose his ear-warmers –mufs behind the head. A similarly clad girl mounts the escalator behind him, descending to embrace him. She rests her muffs next to his, and they ride in warmth to the first floor — menswear.
Even the man cleaning the floor conceals his ample gut behind a tucked-in polo shirt. His feet flash with black sneakers, puma’d in yellow.
The North FaceÂ® girls swing off the escalator with ease and are carefree. Their hair is the same.
All the men wear grim-set faces–they are _not_ having fun here. Hrmph.
>Please excuse our appearance during renovation
Roxy <3 Syracuse Lax Fresh-faced Emo boy waxes his mope-over, just so-- one strand at a time. Emo boy has a lazy eye. ---
TECHNOLOGY & COFFEE
French music sounds like Klezmer when they pull out the clarinet.
A balding jittery white man plays on his iphone, what is he drinking there is no teabag, must be coffee. He looks like a tea-drinker. An iphone and coffee on a weekday afternoon in Newton. He was raised in New York says his voice.
turns out he was waiting, a dimpled black man with a lilt.
The epic showdown
Blackberry vs. iPhone. the old vs. the new. Rotary vs. shear-tactile. the owners stroke the hard, slick plastic bodies, mouths pursed with the concentration. The newcomer has a JawboneÂ® on his jawbone. Maybe they are lovers. Now the money clip vs. wallet take the stage. The second man is not American by socialization, his is an exotic voice– or speech impediment (one and the same). The Islands. A voice sweet with the smile of spice, sour with the taste of slavery and diaspora. But the man’s deep dimples reveal neither.
The bald guy moves closer, puts his glasses back on his nose–the case reveals they are folding spectacles, reading glasses.
“The phone was ringing, the IM’s were coming in, emails…!”
And I was like, “And when do I get my money”. They both laugh, appreciate. Left-right, up-down, press click press click — a chorus line of Crackberries. Electronic appendages. A life em bodied in silicon, glass, glossy sex. max sweet love to the iPhone. Dance your fingers across the wet shine of the screen, caress the Cupertino curves.
The man with a Blackberry glares — jealously fondling his, spinning its wheel endlessly _cyclical_.
Their lovers will wonder, _is it them?_ Have they put on weight, or is there some[one] else?
They will swallow the tears of doubt, and fall asleep to the sound of the aching loins and aching heart. _Maybe I should get one of those phone-things_ they will think as the roar of sleep drowns out the pain.
He blogged his commute, which was also his job. While the suits consulted their embedded hearts and minds, he tapped away behind the shiny of his set — righteous apple. ThHe really preferred to write long-hand, the slick moleskine lay dormant in his sidebag, crying, eeling neglected, the wet ink drying along with its tears. but a moleskine would be too obvious. .The other bald man, he sneezed a while ago– his balding head is evolving–a tuft remains over his forehead.
The first bald guy is not yet his lover — they are business colleagues, they met at the cafe in newton, the man is a programmer – a consultant who works from home.
The T, the only subway to go by the eponymous letter, the self-fulfilled debut from Boston’s finest, MBTA.Chicago comes close, but theirs is spelled… the el. Immortalized forever by Charlie’s perpetual ride,
Is it Train or Transport or Taking your soulÂ®?
Streetcar suburbs are green and purple, the commuters run to catch their double-decker diesels, while th einner ringers walk with ease–theirs is a five minute interval during rush hour. The first line to be laid was the messy, underdog, only pseudo-underground green line.
The train was first invented by the Persians. After inventing the wheel in the 10th century B.B.C. and iron, one Hypocampus E Trainicus was tasked with piecing the two together …
when erecting the pyriamids..
First logs, logs as wheels, then logs as axels — a transition that is less than obviously easy as anyone who has spent hours engineering lego racecars can attest.
The cute french girls have nowhere to sit
The greenline is the ultimate suburban meta-metaphor. It describes what it helped create; from the perpetual flux and conflict of the urban core, to the _streetcar suburbs_ where the only tension to disturb the serene peripheral air is the _rawkus_ weekly PTAOr is it PTO? What the hell is the difference? meetings—the only violence, when Billy gets hit by a pitch at his Little League game. Take the car out to the malls by the outer loop, 495. Or hop on the green-line and enjoy Boston, the human city.
Place is what we make it. I am from JoB. Just OUTSIDE ov Boston.a la Zyklon B, Kult ov Worms