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Our Starbucks

Wednesday 1/22/20

I am writing so much this AM and have so much to write throughout the day but I just wanted to put this up quickly because it makes me smile. I was thinking about our Starbucks and I think it is a very special place and a very unusual Starbucks in some ways. I think about a place like the Bunker Hill Monument and how central it is to my story, and how it will always be there and how there is not really something you could go into in future years and say, "this artist everyone knows, they came here every day, and they did this routine, and while they did it, they created the works we all know in their head." Sure, there are libraries like that, I guess, and author's houses that become museums--the Old Manse is a good example--and I hope the Rockport house is a museum like that someday, too, allowing that I get back to Rockport and get my house back, but there is really nothing like the Monument. And I can't think of an artist with a routine like that. Nor one so widely documented.

Our Starbucks is unique in that this particular artist goes there daily--multiple times a day--and has come up with so much there. Three future hockey Hall of Famers also use it as a regular spot (actually, David Patstrnak held the door open for me yesterday). Isn't that weird? A lot of potential history at a random Starbucks. And it is also where me and Emma have some of our deep talks. We went there before her school today. She said she was dreading school. She had a panic attack yesterday when there was a fight. She still does not go to lunch and I said, "Where would one find you during lunch, where would you actually be?" And she told me she goes to the computer room and watches movies. I don't want to put pressure on her--if that's what she wants to do, that's what she wants to do.

But I do remind her how funny she is, how smart she is, how much people like her, how people look up to her. This is all true, and it comes no surprise or new news to anyone who reads these pages. She's not making the connections she wants, and I think she's beginning to experience that connections are rare. Finding people, too, can be rare the smarter you are. By my count, Emma has five amazing friends. Real friends. That's a lot, right? Then she has other "friends" in that casual way we mean friends. I asked her if there was anything I could do, anything she wanted to talk about, and I told her--she already knows this, but sometimes I like to just push the refresh button, so to speak--that if she is ever in any kind of bad spot at school or needs anything, even just a friendly voice, she can reach out to me. She said, "I'm not soft, man," and I said, "No, you are not at all, we wouldn't be friends if you were not strong, but wanting to talk or wanting a little help or a lot is not being soft, it's being strong."

Again it is very cold out, and again she did not have a hat or gloves. I bought her gloves months ago at CVS, which she is not wearing. I asked why and she said she was not a pussy. Um, very well. But I put this hat on her today myself. I asked her where she got the shirt, but she had no clue. So I explained her shirt to her, saying there was this goaltender on the Bruins in the 1970s named Gerry Cheevers, and each time he would get hit in his mask with the puck he'd put stitches on the mask which was very cool.


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