If a Dog Barks in South Station

Trip into Boston. Took the Blue line into Aquarium and stopped by a couple of businesses. Nothing remarkable about my venture through town. I can tell you that when you visit 75 State Street now, there are gates just before the elevator banks. They weren’t there before. You have to check in with a valid drivers license/ID before handed a ticket that is printed out, noting where you are going in the building. You insert it into a little slot at one of these gates, the gates open, then you are allowed access to the elevator banks.

I had finished my visit, not quite ready to head back home, when I decided to visit South Station for a toasted piece of heaven (there’s this grilled cheese place that would make even your grandmother blush). Nothing unusual here folks…. the hub bub of people getting off commuter trains, the traveler and business person, grabbing a quick bite to eat, a cup of liquid heat, or some other little culinary goodie.

After retrieving my order of melted, grilled comfort, I settled in on one of the wooden bench areas in the station, ready for my feast. Seated between a businessman checking his messages, and a college student, who looked like she was packed to go home, I began chomping away at my late lunch.

Just then, a dog barked. It was not a regular bark, no…. this was a big, loud, echoing bark, repeated. The dog continued his warning. I looked up from my own little world to see where this canine was, and to try and decipher what he was ‘hollaring’ about. In a corner of the station, there he stood. A massive German Shepard, clothed in a K-9 jacket, being restrained by his handler, a man that looked like he was dressed for the part of a SWAT team. I glanced around, noticing that the other occupants of the station were also doing the same as I was. We were all then, looking, wondering, where the culprit was. Glaring at one another, trying not to make eye contact with everyone around, trying not to look alarmed.

There is no recollection, in my mind’s eye, of ever feeling that way before. I don’t recall ever feeling that kind of unease, that insecurity, hanging out in a train station in Boston. But, today, now, it was real, palpable, and I wasn’t the only one sensing that. As I looked around, trying to calm myself down inside, I saw that the rest of the crowd was also doing a self check. Five minutes later, and we were unsettled down, back, somewhat, to what we were all doing before the dog barked.

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