In just over two weeks the world will remember the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing and I’ve become nostalgic for my home away from home, my true home’s sister city.

The Covid pandemic has kept me far from my friend there who taught me how to say “Narragansett”, from beautiful others in the Red Sox organisation who made Fenway Park my warm embrace, and for the team at a hotel just a short walk from the Common that let me hang my Sox cap there weeks on end. It’s lucky then, that Red Sox Nation last celebrated a World Series the year before the pandemic reared its head.

Lucky too that every time I’ve sat at Fenway, in nearly every vantage point it offers, I did so as part of the Bostonian social experience: so many memories, so many times my voice lost singing Tessie—though just a year prior to the bombing, Sox manager Bobby Valentine did his darnedest to make a home win an impossibility.

I was in Melbourne, Australia, on April 15, 2013, when those shrapnel devises exploded along Boylston Street near the Copely Square marathon finishing line I’d passed many times.

But I was there in spirit when “Boston Strong!” rallied America; when Big Papi Ortiz reminded Fenway that it sat in “our fucking city”; when the Red Sox grew their beards and with that defiant scruff won the World Series just months later—in Boston.

In 2023, the world and the USA have changed. Fear is now a political movement. Fear is now a tool of intolerance and—by no coincidence—fear is now a lucrative cash cow for an economy of grifters. Have we learned?

Well, Boston opened its 2023 MLB season today with a homestand to the Baltimore Orioles for a trademark 10-9 loss in a late innings comeback and it reawoke in me a longing for hope.

I will see you again Boston, I will see you in your summer’s glory where in mere days I can sweat and shiver depending on what blows in from the eastern sea.

For it’s the people of Boston that give it its strength. Just be you, my friends. Ten years on, pandemic or not, from Back Bay—to Beacon Hill—to Bunker Hill, from Brookline—to Cambridge—to Watertown, there’s a heartbeat that can’t be found anywhere else.

It pulses in me like a home run caroming off the Green Monstah.

© 2023 Adam Parker.

Picture credit: © 2023 Adam Parker.