Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Greetings from Boston

Hello Cleveland(ers),

I'm sending you this mash note from Bean town, where I'm comfortably holed up in the downtown Sheraton, killing time until Joe Biden gives his VP acceptance address.

One observation about Boston, and I hope you don't think me too crass. All cities are full of beautiful women - Cleveland has its share - but the women I have passed on sidewalks and in cafes in this town are lovely in a wonderful way, serious and educated and on point. For a couple hours this afternoon, I wanted badly to move here and have one take me in as a project, a prospect that needs some buffing and romance to achieve his potential. Call me what you will - callow, perhaps? It was just a thought.

But back to the moment at hand. I'm spending my evening in my room, watching TV. Oh well.

I did the same thing last night, though in my defense I did go out to a funky little dive called Bukowski's, which I really liked despite my significant loathing of the bar's namesake, who I fervently believe was the worst-case, lowest-common-denominator, valueless distillation of the very worst and immature weaknesses of Hemingway. To be honest, I've never much respected anyone that considers themselves a Bukowski enthusiast. The women who claim him always have serious issues, typically with their fathers, and seem to be making some childish literary point with their fandom that they mistakenly confuse with the avant garde. Men who like him are usually smart though still wallowing in some junior-high yet perpetually girlfriendless nineteen hybrid noteworthy only for is startling level of digusting naivete.

Can you tell I don't like Bukowski?

I hope none of you do, or if you do, that you don't take my harsh rhetoric too personally. We are, after all, virtual strangers to one another. Literally.

Also, I'm happy to admit I like the Mickey Rourke performance in Barfly. I know, I'm a regular Whitman with the multitudes of contradictions inside me.

Anyway, I had a good day today. Gave a presentation in the morning that went well - the audience response was robust and supportive, at least. Then I went for lunch and an urban hike with my friend and his wife. (By the way, it is weird for me to think of my friends as having wives - I've known these two as a couple for years and was in their wedding, but it still feels strange to me. Not in a bad or mean way, just funny that my friends are increasingly married. Nevermind.)

After an uninspiring lunch - and my realization that Indian Pudding is indistinct from Gerber pureed carrot baby food - we did a little sight-seeing, including stops at Paul Revere's house, the church where the "1 if by land, 2 if by sea" thing took place, and a visually stunning old-school graveyard. My friend and I both agreed that it was impossible to figure out where the bodies were actually buried, as the way the tombstones were configured didn't seem to indicate anything. Then we read a little historical marker explaining why this was the case. Turns out some decor-minded citizens decided to up and move the headstones and "reorganize" them in a way that was more pleasing to the eye and convenient for walking through the graveyard. Isn't that weird?

After the graveyard, we hiked back to the train station nearest the government center, stopping off for lovely Italian pastries at Mike's on the way. Now I'm whupped and looking forward to reading a bit before falling asleep. (Speaking of reading, I finished Keith Gessen's debut on the plane and it was wonderful. All you male Bukowski readers should check it out. Actually, male and females, Bukowski and non-Bukowski fans alike).

Tomorrow I have work and networking to attend to, as well as a quick lunch at the Trident Cafe and a walk down Newbury. I have dinner and drinks plans (separately) at some interesting places that I'm looking forward to, Match and Eastern Standard, respectively. I shall report back to you how things turn out.


thatgirl said...

I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand that guy. Thank you for articulating your dislike better than I ever could!

Heidi Robb said...

My ex was/is a huge Bukowski fan. Enough said.

I adore Indian pudding and I happen to make a great one.

Great blog.