It seems silly for me to think of Boston as home; of all the places I've lived, my eight or so months here was among my shortest stays and easily one of my most traumatic. But maybe that second part is what makes it feel like home. One usually associates the word with safety, security, and familiarity, but it's also the place where one grows up. Yes, I first came to the Trading Post Inn as an adult, and I have physically changed a great deal since leaving Boston, but there's no question that it was here that I learned the lessons that made me the woman I am today.
It's also where my best friend lives. It's been about a year since I last saw Lyn, but she nearly knocked me over running up to give me a hug when I arrived at my new apartment. In my defense, I was somewhat wobbly on my legs having driven non-stop from New York. We were both wearing short shorts and she looked at my legs a bit jealously, saying she'd forgotten just how tall the new me was. I laughed at that a bit, pointing out I'd been Penny longer than I'd been Liz, so I sort of took that for granted now, although it did make Lyn seem a little short. "Well," she said, "I'm still gifted in other ways," crossing her arms under her breasts.
We spend the afternoon catching each other up while unpacking the car. I've been remiss about updating people on certain things since quitting my job, such as my new apartment and job. Lyn found the apartment for me, a small but comfortable loft right on the border of Chinatown that makes it very tempting for me to sell my car, since I'm now an easy walk from South Station as well as all four subway lines and the offices for the new job. It all depends on how much traveling off the lines I'll have to do. After living in California for another year, I can hardly imagine being without my car again, although it's not that much of an exaggeration to say that the rent on my parking spot rivals that on the apartment.
We wound up laying on the floor afterward; the bed wasn't due to be delivered for another couple days. I handled most of the larger stuff, but Lyn was still pooped. I sat up and looked at her for a few moments, and she asked if all that muscle and testosterone was some sign that I was still a guy at heart, staring at her boobs. "Not those, the thing you've got 'em wrapped. Are you so assimilated as to be a Celtics fan now?"
"Let's just say it was an easy bandwagon to jump on this season. I've got to tell you, liking sports in this town doesn't suck at all, other than trying to get affordable tickets. Although I could probably get those if I liked hockey as much as the original Ashlyn liked hockey players!"
"Well, I hope the sports stuff isn't too overwhelming; my new boss said they'd be using me to spot people in the other departments when they needed someone extra, but if the Sox, Pats, Celtics and Bruins keep me busy, there won't be too many opportunities."
"You'll find 'em. Although I'd keep my resumé up to date, if I was you - I didn't even realize Boston Now was gone until something like a month after the fact, so I don't know how much room there is for another giveaway paper."
"Eh, the Boston Today people have been doing okay out west for a few years, and it's not like Now and the Metro have had Penny Lincoln. Although I think Today is actually setting up shop in Boston Now's old offices."
She laughed at that, saying some people never learned, and asked when it was going to start publishing. I said they were planning a July 4th launch, taking advantage of what a big party Boston puts on for the fourth, with a pull-out section on the fireworks and pops and me writing pieces on the Sox-Yankees games going on in New York. Lyn makes a joke about the Yankees being old news, the new rivalry being the Rays, but I have to admit it's still hard for me to take Tampa Bay seriously.
Anyway, all that was about a week ago. I've since been reintroduced to how crazy the daily newspaper grind is - we've been doing "dress rehearsals" to prepare for the big launch - and how much "fun" dealing with utility companies is. Of course, it doesn't help when you're playing Comcast and Verizon against each other to try and get one of them to offer you something just a bit better than the other.
It's great to be here, though. As much as San Francisco and Oakland are where I come from, right now Boston is where I want to be.
One-word argument against the idea of ditching the car in Boston: February. Even in denim and leather, standing waiting for public transport is damn cold then. In a skirt...
Not only 'keep the resume current', but keep scanning your horizons for better opportunities coming up. The freebie-newspaper scene is tough; even with never-say-die attitude, Boston After Dark had to die to become the currently-successful Phoenix.
Tell Lyn we're waiting for the new portrait (next in the series of Serial Art?). You can use it in your online resume, and maybe your eventual column-masthead in the freebie-paper, while we all Penny-Savor.
What's going on with you guys? This silence is somewhat ominous.
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