We were wandering down Dot Ave, as is our habit, when we were stuck behind a young lady yelling into her cell phone. Apparently her car had broken down, the transmission shot, and she was displeased because she had just purchased her vehicle. She shouted into the phone, "I want my money back! I've got no money and I'm stranded in Boston! I don't know anyone and I can't get home!"
When she concluded her tirade against whoever had sold her the car, she started to trudge down the sidewalk, head down, fists in pockets, with no hope for satisfaction. I approached. "I couldn't help but overhear," I said, "I think the whole neighborhood knows you're a stranger to these parts."
She replied, "I'm stranded in Boston." I told her she was stranded in Dorchester, the best part of Boston, and pointed out that there were far worse places to be lost in. Having eavesdropped on the conditions of her unplanned exile, I offered her a drink at C.F. Donovan's and a meal, though I couldn't offer her a place to rest her head overnight. She accepted.
We had apple martinis and shared a plate of nachos and a platter of the house comfort dish, macaroni and cheese. She seemed in need of comfort food. She vented her frustrations about the state of her new (to her) car and how she had been ripped off. I listened, letting her relieve the pressure on her chest. After we were done eating and our glasses were empty, I paid the tab and reassured her that she was in friendly territory.
As I fished dog-eared dollar bills and quarters out of my topcoat pocket for a tip, the lady said, "Thanks for helping me get through this." I assured her that after my departure another benefactor would soon appear to solve her more pressing problems, maybe even a mechanic who would rejigger her transmission to jet efficiency. Plenty of tradesmen live in Dorchester who are more handy with a wrench than I am.
Full of cheddar and Monterey Jack and starch, we parted company. I went home to sleep the sleep of the contented. She went in search of an answer to her problems. I am sure she will leave Dorchester contented as well. This is a neighborhood of people who help each other as best as they are able according to their talents. I'm more barfly than mechanic.