Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Long Walk, Part 2: The Armory

The lights of Porter Square begin to disappear behind me, and my attention shifts to the aesthetically interesting railroad signs, lights and tracks of the Commuter Rail. The sidewalk is about 30 feet above the tracks, providing an odd perspective on the now inactive line. While I can't be sure of the time, it has to be past 1am. The moon is visible now, just above the horizon. It is orange.

Walking on the sidewalk next to the sunken, fenced-in train tracks is not unlike walking along the lip of a ravine. The mercy of a summer breeze is heard in the trees and felt upon the skin, but besides that there is very little happening. Every so often I espy another human being, waiting for a ride or walking somewhere rapidly. I'm surprised at how alone I am as I reach Craigie Street. My thoughts turn to that night over a decade ago.

Adam and Mikhail invited me over to their humble home at that address, and when I arrived a tour was provided, by Adam. He was ebullient, and there were women there. Two women from Harvard University, and they were both beautiful and young, rich with the future they had yet to spend. They laughed easily.

On the second floor we found our way to The Armory, which was another name for Mikhail's bedroom. So called because of all the replicas of medieval weapons; a mace, a model of a trebuchet, a sword, and I'm sure other instruments of death. I felt that it was meant to be taken ironically. Mikhail wouldn't hurt a fly. The young man also had an interest in history, particularly ancient history, evidenced by dozens of books arrayed in several bookcases. I noticed a book about Hannibal, which provided a subject for conversation.

General Hannibal of Carthage really scared the shit out of the Romans when he crossed the Italian Alps with 5,000 horsemen and about 25,000 foot soldiers (and elephants, of course) and emerged from the Col du Mont Cenis in Northern Italy. He may as well have landed on the moon in the eyes of the Romans. He had done what they thought impossible.

We made our way downstairs, and enjoyed conversation and hummus and pita bread. The conversation lured many smiles and laughs from each of us, and we continued to drink Russian vodka. Several hours later Adam and I got into a mock argument, which we liked to do back then. I had tried to play his saxophone, and failed. The result of the mock fight was pita bread scattered all about, two amused (perhaps slightly annoyed) Harvard women who had withdrawn to the couch in the living room, and a missing Russian. Adam and I laughed our asses off, and I refused a ride and decided to enjoy the walk home.

I want to see the house before I kill myself, and be reminded of what it is like to have friends, to be human and happy and full of hope. And no small amount of joy. After a long walk, here the house is, and I'm smiling. It doesn't last long, however, whatever "it" is, as a young man is nearby and clearly wondering what I'm up to. I decide to move on.

Moving on means walking past a car wash, and a lot of pressure to finally bring this evening to a close. The suicide note I left on my blog surely has garnered attention. This has to end tonight. No more hospitals. That goodbye has to be my final goodbye. My right hand is in my right pocket and I can feel the cord, waiting to be used.

A patch of darkness cuts into the continuous string of lights along the horizon. That patch is Conway Park. With a deep breath I conclude simply that I've found my location. I'm going to hang in that park tonight, but I am not at peace.

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