Wednesday, May 20, 2015


There's a team of guys tearing apart the dilapidated porches on the six-family tenement across the street. The workers have spread yellow caution tape into the street below, circling the area, and two men are on the ground raking up the remnants. A buzzing skill saw, hammering, and ripping sounds are punctuated by whistles and yells from the two men below trying to prevent debris from falling into the traffic. There's Mexican vocal and accordion ballads blasting from a silver boom-box propped up on a green trash bin. I absolutely love this music, just like I love opera; heartfelt dramas unfolding in a language I don't understand.

I wonder if the porches will be replaced. The three layers of porches with Victorian details represent a bygone era when the Woonsocket French Quarter resembled the New Orleans French Quarter. Many Stanley and Stella dramas have played out on these Tennessee Williams stages.

I am sitting outside in the shade of my maple tree with my notebook after having washed Lily's dog beds and our winter pullovers. Everything is drying on the line in the windy sunshine. Today our woodpecker is drowned out by the demolition team.

We just got sad news. One of my husband's former students from the Charter School where he taught 3 years ago was shot in a gang-related incident. He was 18. We had sad news yesterday, too, about the death of our friend's son. Lately losing young men feels epidemic.