Letter To Jocko – A Wedding

quincy quarries

Two weekends ago I had a great trip up to a wedding south of Boston. Brigette and I thought about renting a car, but resisted the corporate brainwashing instructing the masses that they can’t live without a car. We took the 8am bus to South Station, wandered about the Fort Channel, and headed down to the South Shore, the land of my youth after my family left Maine.

My sister-in-law got us a hotel near the wedding site at a golf course atop a hill under which were buried the Quincy quarries. We napped and missed the shuttle bus, I thought we could walk, but it was too far. I suggested we hitchhike. Brigette put out her thumb and the first car stopped in the middle of the road.

The driver was a shy Chinese man who barely spoke English and had been worried that something bad might happen to us. Kwang Cho had migrated from his homeland and worked for a biotech firm. He spoke

We joined my with great shyness and I as well as Brigette thought he had very little contact with people as does everyone in the world as you can attest in exile from humanity in Incline, Nevada.

He drove all the way to Granite Links GC and we thanked Kwang Cho profusely. Both of us were shocked that we had gotten a ride so swiftly. Fuck Uber.

The setting was a surprise for I had tramped across the Blue Hills throughout my life. The elevation was higher than some of the nearest hills. While the view to the north was the city of Boston, its harbor, and beyond the Hull Peninsula the boreal blue Atlantic, the vista to the left was unfamiliar in height and angle.

The Blue Hills stretched off to the west six miles to Big Blue at six hundred plus feet, the highest elevation on the Eastern Seaboard from Key West northward until Mount Megunticook in Maine. The scenery had been inedibly tattooed in my memories.

Not for skiing down the short slope back in the last of the Ice Age or a fight with Hyde Park punks who threw a pineapple can from the top of weather observatory tower, striking my older brother’s head. His scar faded within weeks, but not mine from my mother having sitting me in the family station wagon and saying that my best friend in Maine had drowned in Sebago Lake.

It was June 1960. I had four siblings. I sat in the Ford alone. My mother walked away. The sun was over the whale humped hill. I prayed to God to resurrect Chaney. I failed and realized I had only failed, because I believed in God. There was no God. Chaney was no more. Forever in the past eternity.

My atheism has never been shaken. I stood on the edge of the putting green, admiring the beauty of the day. My old house on Harborview Road was invisible under the sylvan slopes. Big Blue wasn’t the same as the Big Blue of 1960. I wasn’t the same either nor my memories of Chaney. They were few. His kissing Kathy, our throwing darts at seagulls, sledding down the gully, swimming in Sebago Lake. I have one photo. I look. At it once and a while.

Brigette touches my shoulder. They ask if I am alright. I nod and tell her why I stood alone. They nodded and their fingers pressed into my skin. Brigette could have said anything, but simply said, “Let’s go dance.”

I turned my back on Big Blue and joined the soon to be newlyweds, their families, and friends. As always I brought Chaney with me. He and I danced and dined without introductions to others. It was a day of celebration and we both were happy to be together.

It was a good day.

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