Place Where You Live:

Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts

For a so-called “square,” Davis Square has more of an amorphous shape. I sit underneath a streetlamp, breathing in the crisp night air. The towering streetlamp casts light on the pedestrians walking past, turning each one into a leading actor. Each person has a different story that the spotlight showcases. For a short time, the production stages scenes from the lives of ordinary people.

The performance of the night opens with two lively young men, holding hands and conversing about their weekend plans. The aroma of a sweet smelling cologne slowly wafts towards my seat, and I close my eyes to take a breath which ushers me into a field of flowers. When the world of light returns to me, the couple is nowhere in sight. In such a brief scene, I was not able to latch on to all of its intricate details.

The next scene portrays a ragged old man slowly edging onto the stage shaking a small coffee cup of coins to a regular beat. A runner hurriedly passes him and turns around to give him a ghoulish expression, to which he does not react. The old man only continues to walk across the stage rattling his cup. For a brief second he stops and looks down into his cup with a drained look on his face before sluggishly trudging off the stage. As an audience member, I do not know what feelings this play should evoke. Should I feel pity for the man? Should I help him out? Before I can come to a conclusion, he too is gone forever from my view.

I lose myself in thinking about the couple and the old man. I try to remember what they were wearing, what they looked like, but all the petite details are slowly eroding away in my memory. Suddenly, I hear a loud thump right in front of me and several cries of “Are you alright?” Seeing a woman sprawled on the ground brings me back to the play, highlighting the thoughts that made me oblivious to my environment.