18 March 2006

Packard's Corner, Green Line

Saturday morning, 7:04 a.m.

This is what Allston looks like at 7:04 on a Saturday morning: The air is empty and cool and damp. There are thick white paper plates flattened on the sidewalk, and a broken beer bottle in the gutter. Pizza & sub joints are shuttered. Old napkins are blowing in the wind across the tram tracks like a Western picture. The streets are empty too and blinking in the sudden light. There are no signs of life. In one or two houses, paint peeling, screen doors hanging loosely on hinges, a boy or a girl exits, door closed carefully behind them, rubbing eyes, wearing last night’s clothing, hair stuck on end by fingers’-lengths, stale beer dried on their jeans. They are waiting for the T, two or three of them. They sneak glances at one another. An ancient Chinese woman, hair wrapped carefully in a frayed silk scarf, made small by an enormous and rough coat, pushes a cart filled with plastic and cans across the intersection.

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