Monday, March 30, 2009

Years of Refusal

Well, the cat is out of the bag and the bag is at the bottom of the harbor. Morrissey will not be playing a local pub tonight. Once again, the only stars Dorchester will be graced by are the ones in the sky and the hundred-thousand-plus points of light that dot and wander the neighborhood's sidewalks. Is there any harm in that? The surf laps the shores of Dorchester, carrying the rippled reflections of sparked halogen and twinkling ambiance. No one is any less wise or proud. The earth revolves on its axis and Dorchester is what it is: not only good, but good enough. Dorchesterites have earned their bragging rights but they don't make a show. Let the wind bluster in March. Dorchester is content overall for no definable reason in every season, every year, decade after decade. You can lay your hand against a puddingstone boulder, but you can't wrap a finger around Dorchester's soul.

A blue collar neighborhood has little need for celebrity. Working folks provide enough tenon and muscle to pull from morning to midnight and then to the next daybreak. It is always darkest before dawn. Dorchester, even when it is at its sleepiest, is full of a high wattage that slumbers waiting for a switch to be tripped. One hundred ten thousand volts, give or take, slumber in Dorchester waiting to make a connection and be fully employed. The neighborhood is electric. Bang! Bang! On go the lights.

Streetlights hum and attract moths but nothing about Dorchester is moth-eaten. It may seem rundown but that is the local custom, keeping properties' tax valuation low. Some people sing songs for money in Dorchester but many more sing out of pure joie de vivre. A spirit animates Dorchester and it isn't exactly the specter of Communism. There is a sense of community. The streets are arteries in this civic body. Let the rest of Boston refuse Dorchester it's place in the sun, but there is a place in the sun for everyone in Dorchester if they have the will to find one. I do believe I have found mine.

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