It’s December, but the weatherman says it’s still early for us to be getting all of this snow. It leaves perfect white hoods on parked cars, mailboxes, and fire alarm signals. The bus up Mass. Ave alternates the ALL CAPS route designation with a gentler, lowercase, “Season of Peace.” The driver tries to aim her stops at the openings in the snowdrifts; it was the plows that cleared the road for the bus, but the resulting piles of snow prove treacherous for passengers looking for safe haven on the sidewalk. We grimace sympathetically for the unlucky pedestrian who mistook a soft pile for a solid landing, his leg now sunk two feet into the snow. A sudden chill turns slushy sidewalks into slick ice, and in the waning hours of a clear Sunday evening, a lone pedestrian gives up and walks in the somewhat less lethal tire tracks on the street.
Indoors, stores blare holiday songs; shoppers become slightly hypnotized with good cheer and politely take turns in cramped sale areas. A Starbucks barista robotically tries to super size my chai tea and sell me a cookie. Aimee Mann plays her holiday show at Berklee, and despite her claims of a terrible head cold, she pulls off her unique brand of content melancholy, perfect for this freezing December night.