We drove into Cambridge so that John could hand-deliver his manuscript to The MIT Press. I was still printing out the monster – almost 900 pages of it – at 3 a.m. the night (morning) before we left Atlanta. He went out to lunch with his editor (who was kind enough to lend me a good neighborhood map).
While John was doing that, I took Ben to the Boston Museum of Science (we used to call it the “Boston Science Museum” – did they change the order?). Wow. Just as wonderful as I remembered. Ben was enchanted. We took pictures of our shadows, and blended our faces in the window/mirrors, and looked at the little robots, and all sorts of other things.
We even went to the Gunther von Hagens BodyWorlds 2 exhibit. It was a bit edgy for a 6-year-old, but I kept an eye on him to see his reaction. There was only one awkward moment – he asked a funny question, and several people turned around to look. I answered it in a fairly straightforward way, and he was reassured.
For the squeamish, I should mention that they don’t really look like what they are. The plastination process makes everything look like a very advanced model, not the real thing. There is no smell, no sense of death at all. And they are beautiful. The sheer complexity! I was looking at a very thin cross-section of someone’s leg, and the textures reminded me of aquatic lifeforms – like sponges. After about 20 minutes or so, Ben was ready – get this – to go get some lunch. He said that he was bored of looking at all the humans. He wanted to eat (and then go to the museum store and then look at the big dinosaur again). We had lunch looking out on the river.
See the reflections on the glass?
We had a somewhat scary moment when I realized that John’s cellphone, that I was carrying, had died. Since we hadn’t set a time or place to meet up again, I finally called the Press and left a message, which was a bit garbled in delivery. We found each other, finally, in the lobby of the museum.
I never did stop in to visit my hometown (which John has never seen). I would have liked to see a few more friends in the eastern Massachusetts/Providence, R.I. area (Jan, Mary, Lorna…and yes! you too Nicolette! and others!), and some of my extended family. We ran out of time.
Later than we had planned, we got into the car, navigated through the tunnels, and headed west on the Massachusetts Turnpike (the Mass Pike, the Pike), directly into the setting sun – toward Amherst.
To be continued…
(but not tonight…)