AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 5/12/2004 11:22:00 AM ----- BODY:

Are You My Mother?

I remember being read this book (in an earlier edition, of course) about the silly little bird when I was very little. It never struck me as poignant until now. It's what I find myself wanting to ask the city as I jaunt through her streets on a Saturday night, dancing till we're deaf in the muffled dark of Club Axis on Landsdowne Street, stumbling into Kenmore square to catch the bus in the shadow of Fenway Park. It's what I want to ask these tortured cowpath roads as I drive along on one of my various commutes. It's what I want to ask the row houses, the abandoned and remodeled mill buildings, the white-steepled churches, the ancient cemeteries with their worn-away gravestones. It's what I want to ask that fetid summer smell that's starting to soften the air. I can't really go into much detail here, but long story short, just when I got my heart set on apartment I found out that I will probably very soon lose my primary job. Just when doubt begins running its cold fingers over my heart, New England, the grande dame, sweetens into spring so gently, asking me to stay. This is the condition of my age: pulled to the breaking point in a minimum of two directions. Between my fiercely loved home and independence. Between my mother(s) and my future(s). Between yesterday and tomorrow.