Thursday, July 18, 2024

I fell in love with Cambridge again Saturday afternoon. This was the scene:

In the pit by the main entrance to the Harvard Square T stop, several Muslim teens are rapping serially, very serious, some quite good. (The best, for whatever reason and whatever it means, are those in modern garb, not traditional Islamic gear.) The topic is the world as seen from the perspective of urban youth and urban youth as perceived by the world. They are angry but passionate.

After a while, I must go. On my way around to the T entrance, I pass by someone in a bee costume. His back is to me, wings folded behind his yellow and black belly, as he speaks with a friend.

The killer conversationalist bee behind me, I’m about to make the tight U-turn into the T when I notice that the guy in front of me, his arms at right angles to his lean, tall body, is holding a sword. Three other youngish people behind him are holding props as well, suggesting they are on their way to a rehearsal of “A Man for All Seasons,” or perhaps a bootleg “Spamalot.” The guy with the sword looks impudent and funny, as sharp as his sword. But he is bent forward at the waist, appreciating the scents being hawked by a middle-aged Avon saleswoman.

This overlapping life is pleasant, and I leave blissed-out, feeling — despite the aggrieved rhymes of the Muslim kids — as though everything in this small part of the world is at peace, or at least on the right path, or at least fighting the good fight of understanding and civility.

There are other takes on Cambridge, but for some reason I tend to see the good.