Ringing in the New Year
Today the city of Boston swells by two hundred and fifty thousand. Cobblestones and gas lamps and chowder halls strain under the weight. The impact sends the Charles sloshing. Harvard spats are splattered at the boathouse. Waves roll in on a breezeless day at the end of summer. It's warm out, but there's something crisp and cold lurking in the shade. A few of the leaves have already curled and turned.
And two hundred and fifty thousand college students sling cumbersome pieces of luggage and brown cardboard boxes and leather satchels and scuffed black shoulder bags that sport vintage indie button pins and denim backpacks and giant sturdy plastic bins with self sealing lids and totes and shoeboxes and garbage bags full of clothing and a laundry basket with a stereo balanced inside it and garment bags and duffels and carryons and rented moving trucks full of secondhand dented furniture and floral couches into dorm singles, doubles, triples, quads, clusters, suites, on-campus apartments, off-campus apartments, Allston houses, Beacon Hill ancien regime closets, Cambridge lofts, and Symphony stop brownstones.
New freshmen wander around in knots of fifteen talking excitedly about T tokens and getting lost on the B line while they try to get to the Fenway stop where the Bed Bath & Beyond is and join the other hundred and fifty thousand people shopping for throw pillows floor lamps area rugs and flatware sets. The city is bursting at the seams. The sophomores are putting pained looks of sophistication on and claiming to need a drink.
The school year has begun. Tomorrow we'll start the introductions.