Paradise Dance
Leapfrog Press
Michael Lee
“A Fresh Start”

“A Fresh Start” is from Michael Lee’s collection, Paradise Dance (Leapfrog Press, 2007).  Lee’s humor columns and articles have been published extensively in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and The Cape Cod Times. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the U.S. Marine Corps at Khe Sanh. He holds an MFA in Writing from Emerson College.


“A Fresh Start” came about late one snowy evening when I was on the MBTA car heading out of Boston. I kept glancing at this very attractive women seated across from me. I hoped it was not in a creepy way, but I assume anyone that looked as good as she did was used to glances held a beat longer than necessary. She finally caught me, and to my surprise, returned just the flash of a smile. Eureka.


At that moment I would have dropped everything to go away with her, which speaks volumes about the way my life was going at the time. We stopped in front of the Museum of Fine Arts and I looked out the window as a few passengers got off.  There was an empty lot beside the train and it sloped gently upward.  It looked impossibly flawless, as unblemished as if ladled on by the hand of an artist. The train lurched forward and I looked over, determined to say something to her about the patch of purity in the middle of the city.  But she was gone – out the door of the car and out of my life forever.


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