THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
2001-07-02 (flashback) - 11:54 p.m.
Northeast Odyssey: Back in Mass.
Philadelphia– New Jersey – Hightstown – New Brunswick – Woodbridge – Mahwah – New York – White Plains – Connecticut – New Haven – New London – Rhode Island – outside Providence – Massachusetts – Norwood – Quincy – Pembroke. Bruce – Cowboy Junkies – Everclear – New York radio and a Beatles block – BNL – DMB – Massachusetts radio – “Lovin’ Each Day” – “Sundown” – “Imitation of Life.”
I get behind the wheel with Bruce playing at 9:10 a.m. and shoot across the remaining 24 miles of Pa. to NJ, zoom up the Turnpike to the Parkway and cross into New York, Cowboy Junkies and Everclear with some New York radio in between to accompany me while Bryan sleeps. About 11:30, I pull off the Merritt Parkway to let Bryan finish the drive, and a slight missed turn for I-95 provides a tour of Yale and West Haven and gets us around most of the 95 backup into New Haven. The rest of the day is smooth sailing. In Norwood, Mass., we exit the interstate and roll down the windows on our way to a stop at Bryan’s lawyer’s office.
We arrive at his parents’ house at 4:40, where I finally get to meet Carla, his brother’s girlfriend. There have been lots of stories – it took a while for the family to like her – and she’d also expressed surprise that we’d not yet met. “I was just saying,” Carla says while ironing her clothes in front of the TV, “he’s the last member of the family I haven’t met.” I’m not really part of the family, but it’s nice to be thought of that way. I don’t have any brothers, so that’s where Bryan and Patrick come in.
Lynne comes home with chicken for dinner and a new patio table and chairs, which Patrick, Bill and I put together while Lynne and Bryan baste the chicken in tequila lime seasoning and shuck the corn. After dinner, Bryan leads the way in his Xterra back to Boston. I follow him into the setting sun, nearly blinded but keeping a safe distance as he speeds along Route 3 at 85. Back in Southie, we double park to unload our bags, then find a spot for my car and hit Blockbuster for “Gone In 60 Seconds” to utilize the surround sound on the TV.
After the movie, I take the room next to Bryan’s on the third floor of the duplex. It’s the room of the roommate who’s never there, always staying at his girlfriend’s. As I look out the window down on this Southie street, neighbors across the way talking on the doorstep over beers, I want to call Casey. Each call, each conversation, is a date for me, another chance for us to get to know one another. I turn on the phone in case Case calls, figuring she won’t but hoping ... maybe. But I don’t dial, just look at her number, stored from Saturday, because it’s now just Monday. Too soon. I could talk to her every day, but I don’t want to be too forward, too overbearing, too stalker-like.
But I want to be her guy, the one she tells about her great day, the one she cuddles with on the couch to watch “Ed,” the one she slides up to and falls asleep with on breezy July nights.
Next page: Northeast Odyssey: Sailing away
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