Haymarket

Originally Published 08/22/2011

Photo Source: Jessica Beebe

The day dragged on, pleasantly taking its time like the best Saturdays always do. There was still plenty of summer left on the calendar, but the slant of the light, the faint bite in the morning and evening breeze and the feel of the days told all: summer was fading. It was almost Labor Day weekend and the Sox were cruising in the AL East as Allie and I sat in lounge chairs on the roof of my building, drinking Samuel Adams, watching the tourists consult their maps and following all the bargaining at the market-day stalls at Haymarket.

Things had been going well so far. She had answered my ad in the Improper Bostonian – “SWM, 28, ISO Deep/Shallow SF, 24-34, for hijinks and/or mayhem” – back in June, and we had gone out for dinner four times since. Nothing urgent, no pressure, just good relaxed times and good company. Allie had come over for the first time today, and we were both enjoying the day, the gray murk, the Sox game on my boom box and each other.

We had both come to Boston from drastically different lives: me from Hartford for a job at State Street Bank after college; she as a freelance designer from somewhere upstate…somewhere around Albany? Or was it Utica? Eh…plenty of time to find out for sure, just like there was plenty of summer left and plenty of Saturday left. I popped another round and scanned the view, from the solemn Custom House tower to the old cobblestones of Haymarket.

“You ever think about all that happened on those stones just below us, Allie?” I asked, reaching my right hand over to her right shoulder.

She smiled at me and said, “Yeah, I think about that a lot. Like, did Paul Revere himself or…” she assumed the pose of Samuel Adams on her bottle, “Sammy Adams walk that very street below us? And those very stones? It’s possible.”

“Very possible,” I said, loving the depth of conversation. “You know the Chart House on Long Wharf? That used to be John Hancock’s office. Can you imagine Sam and Paul Revere staggering across this very street to visit John Hancock and talk about what those damn Red Coats were up to?”

Allie chuckled, reached over and pinched the back of my neck. “It’s mind blowing, isn’t it? God, I’m so glad you’re into history and everything! I’ve dated so many guys that don’t care at all, and never even think about what happened before we came along, and it’s so boring! I mean, shit! LIFE happened here! You know?”

“Yep,” I agreed. “Our fathers and forefathers were here, living their lives, not thinking anything about what they were doing, like their daily routines would have such an impact on us. But it did!”

We sat quietly for a few minutes, watching the foot traffic, speculating internally about how many millions of feet had trod upon those stones over the centuries, listening to Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco strike out to end the top of the 6th at Yankee Stadium, and wondering what was ahead. There was no way to know for sure, of course, but the here-and-now looked really good. And there was plenty of Saturday left, and plenty of weekend left, even if there wasn’t much summer left.

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