The air is bracing before the sun comes up. The wind blows the Littlest Ninja motorcycle this side of the Charles River on a weaving course down Dot Ave. Some dead leaves drift but there is no litter. The streets are tidy.
Dark windows unreel along my path. There's a car up ahead, its taillights two corpuscles travelling Dorchester's sleepy artery. A shadow leans against a lightpost, waves as I pass. I don't get a good look.
What's open? Destination: Tedeschi's in Field's Corner. Open all night, every night. The two countermen are yukking it up with the security guard and two customers. The guard asks me, "Sir, do you know baseball?" I don't. He looks at me in disbelief while I wonder why he would feel the need to ask this question in Boston. Because of people like me, of course. He goes back to making a statistics-heavy argument to the other customers.
My business complete, I speed back up Dot Ave, crouched low over the gas tank to escape the brunt of the breeze. In the silence that precedes dawn, the motorcycle's engine seems to purr more loudly than in the thick of rush hour. Still, no one is awakened. Dorchester slumbers one last hour before the real work begins.