Adjacent Tufts University is a road named Bromfield. The houses lining it are colorful and diverse, with streetside gardens of flowers and tomatoes, towering trees in the backyards, and plenty of nooks and crannies for nesting cardinals. Hidden inside the buildings are the traces of a galaxy of experience: the porches and kitchens and bedrooms and sitting areas are covered in memories, friendships, laughter, melancholy, and love. At 102, the ghostly afterimage of house plants and freshly cooked vegetables remains even after the good people tending them have long gone. If you walk into the mudroom of the house numbered 65, the sound of laughter and shouting of friends putting balls in cups, singing silly songs, and dancing upstairs is barely audible above the silence of the empty house. The next door residence still smells thickly of good Maine marijuana and late night pizzas from countless nightsfull of nothing, some time long ago. And warm, loving tendrils of spiritual acceptance invisibly sprout from the floors of the house at 86, thickly filling the hallways with plants that bloom when you touch them and produce petals as smooth as caffelatte skin.
To the untrained eye, these houses may appear deserted, or (perhaps more likely) full of a new generation of people, living their own lives amongst the ethereal ghosts of their predecessors, unaware and on their own. And Bromfield welcomes these people, too, as part of its ever-changing story. Someday soon, their memories will become the next layer of experience to linger on behind.
When you turn from Warner onto Bromfield - the only way a car can go - a long, straight, and quiet road lies ahead. It is a conveyor belt from the real world into the fantasy of friends, dreams, and thoughts so big they take your breath away. It is the path leading from the chaotic outside into safety. And if you choose not to stop, to instead pop out on the Tufts side and keep going, there is a reward there, too. A beautifully modern science center stands like a sentinel watching over the people and traces moving on and off of Brom; it is full of its own secrets, ghosts running through its skeleton and watching the sunrise from its roof.
Bromfield is a waypoint. A resting place for rich experiences. A place of solace, for weary people. There are friends on Brom, and there always will be, for it retains the essence of its history like a wave: nothing that happens on Brom forever more can ever separate itself from where it has came from.And because of that, Bromfield is the most beautiful road on which I’ve had the privilege of spending any time. It is cemetery and church, art museum and studio, house and home, rolled into one little stretch of asphalt and the surrounding houses. And a part of me will live there until the last person that knows my name has gone away.