Pleasures of Cambridge

Updated: Jan 23

When I first arrived in Cambridge, I spent most of my time walking. In red brick, Harvard was the aesthetic, along with timbres of cold and progressive hues. I’d pass flowers and become fascinated with hanging vines. The Commons was an acquaintance of friendship where I’d sit for hours in the sun and wind, reading, drawing, and watching. Paths led me to hidden shops and quiet, where I spent an unknown, yet nonetheless great, quantity of money.

I ventured to local squares of art, dance, music, museums, and cafes. To be alone amongst one unity of a city was to contribute to that whole. Music and coffee reached a level of routine in my life and I enjoyed the newness of it all— the illusion of being on my own, though real and tangible. I lived in primitive states of wonder in which any stranger was a friend and any friend, an opportunity to grow. It was in my limits that I expanded and turned down, never, a chance for fun. I became an observer in poetic bounds to foster romantic tendencies and see in wholesome measures. This meant dancing freely and running with no direction. Once I got lost on a random trail by the river. Suddenly, from the main street, there was a forest and enclosed trails that looped into a maze. I took the unexpected declining entrance, and to this day, I have no idea where I was. In the overwhelmingness of green, I had to follow the road signs back to Harvard Square and I remember, on my way back, watching a couple dance professionally the tango; and I captured satisfaction. Once Bella and I became closer, we shared in these times of simple pleasures that in essence were hours of walking and discovery. We became professional thrifters who creatively explored fashion and our means to identity. We’d plunge our fingertips into stones and relate to their meanings. Shuffling through $1 records, we’d buy new ones every week and play what we’d found; often times ending in newfound loves for artists. We decorated our walls with album covers— one of them reading, “Hot! Hot! Hot!” and another just the image of a woman drinking from a wine bottle in a one-piece. Never was there a time I felt freer or more confident in my person. Never did a room feel as radiant— my abilities so recognized or appreciated.

One day captured such radiance, with my class canceled and Bella and I strolling towards a church. Earlier in the year I went to services there and returned for free choral concerts, once including a performance from a German group. In this, we stumbled upon a hidden café with one woman who prepared and served all dishes and coffee. We sat outside, a true gift from New England weather, and I imagined my future in Paris, grappling to return to this grounded moment.

But Bella dreamed with me, as she always does, and I treasured the beauty that seemed to transcend our smiles and conversation, that resonated in the air. In Cambridge there was always some dream everyone was searching for. It seemed everyone had their own intrinsic desires and was sharing not only as a means to appease others in that they are not alone, but to find inspiration. It was a constant state of artistic lively interaction; there was this constructed community of limitless minds and expression at our reach. We took in as much as we could get and in such frequencies, we only matched pitch. to this grounded moment.

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