Man vs Wild

I grew up in the city. I was born on Beacon Hill and when I was five we moved to Brookline on the edge of Fenway Park.  When I was thirteen, it was a good time for me and my friends to go down to the combat zone and buy fireworks in an underground store that also sold live animals and swords. I went to a high school located at Dartmouth and commonwealth in Copley Square. I had soccer practice by the waterfront and basketball in the North End.  I have been mugged and in street fights and know my way intimately around the downtown alleys and Roxbury housing projects. Until I went to college I lived within a few blocks of the Longwood medical district and as a result could not hear sirens unless someone else pointed them out.  Occasionally someone would ask how I dealt with the noise and I would always reply, “What sirens?”. This is city life, loud and sometimes dangerous.

            I have also been going to a family estate in Cape Cod my entire life. My family bought an oblong twenty acre island in Buzzards Bay in 1872 and made it their vacation home.  There are three houses there now that were built around 1900 and the rest of the place is secondary growth forest surrounded by a nature conservatory.

            It takes an hour to get there from Boston and I go whenever I can.  Perhaps it is because I can never hear silence where I live, but then again waves are not silent either.  I’ve learned to bring what I need so I don’t have to drive into a town that closes at ten. This lack of irritating or unpleasant noise tips my mental balance towards sanity.

 The distance is not a problem for me, driving is not particularly unpleasant though I am dependant on it.  Cars are too important for most people though because they need these expensive things to get to work. People can’t afford to live in the city but they have to work there and in many cases public transportation is not really an option. It reminds me of the aliens looking down on earth and deducing that the car is the dominant life form.

Ultimately the city and the technology that has arisen from it does not make our life easier, it just makes some of us live longer, more stressful lives.


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