July Third before a Tuesday holiday must be a down day for Starbucks. A little before 7 a.m. usually means the Financial District salmon spawning wildly to their offices from South Station. Their competition starts long before they push and flop up to their desks.
Today though was a strolling one, down a nearly empty Summer Street. In the distance, I saw a 30-ish woman losing to her parcels. She had a rolling suitcase and two overstuffed shopping bags, one with a new comforter in turn stuffed into a plastic pouch and the other with wrapped gifts.
She was trying to balance both bags and repeatedly heard and then saw them on the street as she tried to move.
The few commuters, of course, hurried by. She was not the droid they sought.
I had time and the inclination and asked whether she was going to South Station and wanted help. She said, "No. Thank you," but thought better of it in a few seconds. She called to me and I carried the bags.
We caught up with her two male relatives in a few blocks in front of the train station. She said they were Moroccans visiting the United States. They were headed to the bus terminal section and she released me with thanks. Her chums each had one bag but turned, wheeled off and left her to her struggle. Perhaps that's cultural; is it a woman, burdens, natural order?
I picked up the bags and we walked ahead down Atlantic Avenue. She said they were headed to Vermont to be with friends and celebrate the Fourth. She asked why so many people came to Boston for this holiday.
As wrapped up as we are here in Revolutionary War history (and its marketing value), that was rather endearing. I told her a bit about the Adams boys, the rude bridge, and later developments such as the U.S.S. Constitution and the Pops on the Esplanade. It was all new to her and put our fervor in perspective.
I suspect she was wary of a strange man wanting to mess with her stuff when we met, but to her credit, whe realized she could use a hand. I recommend lending one when you find yourself in the situation. She literally gave me one, with a smile, and introduced herself as Nadia as we parted.
For me, it took a bit of the edge off South Station. The flailing financial fish will still slap their way around, but the occasional smiling visitor helps counterpoise them.
Tags: massmarrier, Boston, tourists, commuters, South Station