Hi, want a pop tart?

This summer I have been taking the 7 am ferry from Salem to Boston. The ferry docks at Long Wharf near Christopher Columbus Park. I get to take my bicycle on the ferry for free. I get into Beantown at 8 am. My storytelling doesn’t start till 10 so I get to have a leisurely two hours in Boston. It’s a mini vacation in a city I love to hang out in, that I love to pedal around in.

There’s a big fountain at the park with benches in the shade. I like to sit there and finish reading my morning Globe. There has never been more than 4 people there at 8 am.

A very plump homeless guy is always there. I noticed he noticed something underneath a park bench. He kicked it with his foot. He slowly bent down to pick up a plastic knife. He walked over to the fountain, lathered up and proceeded to shave in the fountain with his plastic knife. Then he casually threw it away.

KR, my darling wife, had given me a box of Pop Tarts to snack on. I said to this fellow, “Hi, my name’s Tony. What’s yours?” “Leon”, he said. “Nice to meet you, Leon. Would you like a Pop Tart?”

He said, “Sure.” and the two of us sat on a park bench eating our “pastry” that could survive a nuclear blast, talking about Boston, enjoying the shade, enjoying the summer, enjoying just a few minutes of slow conversation in a high speed world.

Tony Toledo


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