Beantown ramblings: Central Square

Central Square, remembering.

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All the poems I lived here, where the houses stack the same — rows of two on three, wooden deck out back, overlooking your neighbor’s wall and empty trash cans. Tite’s Spanish American store with his personal cabana on top, which was new then, a decade ago, but already looked ancient. The park where Ced and I played soccer with the Guatemalans, and that day I jumped for the frisbee and knocked the kid off his bike, and his mom was so apologetic in scattered English. (I felt guilty. It was totally my fault.) And everyday, Ced and I took the cobbled streets home, me skipping, him singing Simon and Garfunkle. Everything was syrupy, lazy, instinctual. There was nothing at stake and always, a guitar. Dylan on the deck, our friends’ bands live in the kitchen, Belle and Sebastian remixed through the fuzzed-out speakers of the boom box. The roommates got each other jobs at our restaurants, taking the bus or biking the bridge to work on Newbury Street. We lived in the abstract, the Lancaster boys and Danny and me. Somehow, that made the day-to-day (and our ideals) so tangible.

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Later, I moved to Jamaica Plain. I met my neighbor, Andrew, and I knew we had to be friends. Because he got it so right. He created the ultimate Central Square eulogy and someone (him? critics?) dubbed it “mumblecore.” But for me, it’s just Cambridge, and I got to go back this week. The specifics change, but the personalities never seem to. And when I want to go back without the $600 plane ticket, there’s Funny Ha Ha.Thanks Andrew, for that!

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