One of Ed's colleagues from Kentwood HS came to visit this last weekend. He was our first visitor, and even though he was here to visit Harvard Law School, we were thrilled to have a friend in our home. Jake's first impression of Boston was that "at least 50 people die a day in car-related accidents." I wasn't there, but Ed told me about how on their drive around the town, some old woman had double-parked her car with the trunk open. There was some kind of commercial truck behind her, unable to get around the *barely* two lane space of Massachusetts Ave. At reaching his limit, he got out of his truck, slammed the old lady's trunk, got back into his truck, lay on the horn and yelled something to the effect of "get the F**K out of my way. To her credit, and most likely a Boston native, the old lady just sat in the driver's seat, eyes locked forward and hands gripping the wheel, waiting tensely for who ever she was supposed to be picking up.
I'm sad I missed it. I've yet to see such a display of driving rage. Jake also couldn't get over the rotaries; like we believed when we first got here, he is certain the rotaries cause multiple deaths. And, you'd think so, but, and I went on to explain, the rotaries are a wonderful kind of controlled chaos. In fact, I said, the driving philosophy in Boston is somewhat libertarian: we don't really follow the "rules" set by the government, but instead get to know what works best at every intersection, rotary, neighborhood, and then develop a kind of pride in "knowing" the area. And, it really doesn't take that long to learn. Terror is an wonderful kickstart to the learning curve.
But, do you realize what was happening? I was defending Boston. In particular, I was defending the thing that makes me the craziest about Boston: the driving. And, here I was, defending it. Maybe it's because spring really is nice; like autumn, the weather isn't extreme, but plain lovely. Maybe it's because it's nearly been a year and we might actually be getting used to it here. Whatever, it was surprising to be sticking up for Boston.
It was also great having Jake here. Jack loved him and Ed made some fantastic dinners. Such a nice mix-up to the regular chaotic routine.