I felt a profound sense of loss for my Boston accent this past weekend while watching Good Will Hunting. I so clearly remember watching that movie repeatedly when it first came out, obsessed with the Elliot Smith soundtrack and the over the top, at times obnoxious, Boston accent put on by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck. Those were my boys.
These days my accent is a lost cause, a hybrid of sounds and phrases that aren't grounded in any one location. My Boston accent softened years ago after living in LA - perhaps at times, dangerously close to the Valley. By the time I moved to Australia my pronunciation of the word 'coffee' was confused with that of a New Yorker and going on six years later, there are times when even I don't recognise the sound of my own voice.
When traveling in Ireland years ago, I ran into a girl from high school. She had been living in Dublin for the past few years and had developed such a thick Irish brogue that I could not understand a single word she said. It's this memory that fills my head every time I visit home and step off that plane - what if no one can understand me? What if i try to order a French Vanilla ice coffee at Dunkin Donuts and they turn me away? I'm in language limbo, neither here nor there. It's an identity crisis I need to face head on - I'm going home in just a few weeks and I'm determined to incorporate Boston's favourite word - wicked - into as many conversations as possible between now and then. So that's the plan, to watch The Departed, The Town and Mystic River over and over until the phrase 'wicked awesome' is once again back in my daily vocabulary. Wish me luck, it's gonna be wicked hard...
p.s - wishing my little sister, the happiest of birthdays, can't wait to see you soon. x