Gilded Age

There was a harpist busking on the T the other day. On Beacon Hill, a main broke and water poured down the hill into the gutters at the bottom, swirling around the oversize wheels of a late-model Bentley coupe. Down the street there’s a billboard advertising a company that does medical debt collections. In a grassy spot next to the hospital, a gaggle of frequent emergency room customers bicker and slur and nod out. There’s a Mercedes S class with the license plate EXACTA idling in front of the coffee shop, near a store selling a ten-thousand-dollar custom chest of drawers and the convenience store where the mentally disabled guy shakes a cup of change. The guy who usually panhandles in front of the Dunkin Donuts disappeared for a while, then reappeared with crutches. He doesn’t look so good these days. It’s going to be a cold winter.

I don’t know what any of this means. I don’t know if it’s worse than it used to be. But something isn’t right here.

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