Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Noumenal Dorchester

Your humble narrator has been accused of not reporting the facts, that the Dorchester reported on here is not the same Dorchester experienced by the majority of the people on this neighborhood's streets and it is not the Dorchsester described in the newspapers. This is true. When Whalehead King writes about Dorchester, or anywhere or anything else, the reader only gets a particular perspective.

Your humble narrator, who has spent countless, untraceable hours criss-crossing not only Dorchester but other Boston ,out-of-the-way, back alleys, has never witnessed a shooting, a drug deal, an interaction between john and prostitute, a knife fight, a police intervention, an arson, a graffito tagging, or even a petty theft more serious than a can man lifting deposit bottles out of a recycling bin left on a curb. He has seen people moving from Point A to Point B, minding their business while being cordial to each other and everyone trying to get through the day with as little friction and tension as possible with good manners and tolerance. These are the facts, if they may not be the reality.

Crimes are committed in Dorchester the same as they are committed on Beacon Hill and in West Roxbury and Hyde Park and in Persia. People will be people, but a few bad apples needn't spoil the barrel nor turn sparkling cider into vinegar. Your narrator's eyeglasses are not tinted and, as often as not, he doesn't wear them though he spent a week's pay on the frames. The lenses aren't rosy but clear. The neighborhood is what it is. Possibilities abound for those with objective eyes to spy them.

Are these dispatches really just a Dorchester conjured out of a fevered mind? Partly, yes, but ultimately and unequivocally: No. Anyone who can google a map can see the landmarks that exist, the poetic street names, the connotative place names and how the convoluted and leafy landscape is laid out in order to breed small scale adventures and philosophical associations. Layers upon layers of cognition and experience in all flavors and grit are piled atop each other in Dorchester.

Are the personalities portrayed in these missives made of from whole cloth? Again, no. They are here, plugging away, trying to get a head of a little spare pocket change, and trying to earn the respect they deserve. Names are changed because not everyone enjoys celebrity, but every personality has been extrapolated from details garnered from personal interviews and direct observation mixed in with a dash of purple and yellow journalistic sleights of hand.

Some people may scoff at Dorchesterites' aspirations. We think they protest too much and may harbor a smidge of envy. Schemes are hatched in Dorchester. Dreams come true in Dorchester. The same story is repeated all over Boston and all over the globe but a Dorchester victory seems to be one of the sweetest of them all.

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