About once every month I head out to Boston Common, walk up Beacon Hill to the State House, and stand and consider the Massachusetts 54th Memorial by Saint-Gaudens. I decided to do that a little earlier today, as it is so beautiful out and medical matters had me leaving my flat anyway. It's tradition for romantics and history buffs to place flowers on Robert Gould Shaw's lap at the center of the memorial. So I cut a cluster of roses off my rose bush (the one plant I have that housing will allow) and headed on my way.
When I got to my destination, I sat and waited for the right moment to put the roses in their place. Someone had already put small bunch of carnations there, but I would add my roses anyway. Tour buses and Duck Boats were driving down Beacon Street with noisy regularity. The State House is right across the street, so there are a lot of visitors. Defying my anxiety, I rose and stood on my toes reached just high enough to deposit the roses in their place.
Then I slipped. My right forearm took the brunt of the fall, and is now black and blue. People rose to help me, but I waved them off and smiled. I felt like a complete jack-ass. If I had fallen and broken my neck, would it be my romantic inclinations that killed me? And if so, would it then have been a noble death? I think not. Like every other noble intention, it ends either in banality or absurdity.