Sounds of Our Daily Life
I was a 23 year-old queer kid moving from rural North Carolina to Boston when I first stepped foot in Diesel just 2 weeks after the café opened. Little did I know that Diesel would be providing more than a much needed break from a frustrating apartment search. Like for so many others in our community, over the past 20 years, many of the key adult moments of my family’s life have taken place in that bustling café at 257 Elm Street. Distracting my now wife from her graduate studies at Harvard, planning our wedding and my transition, deciding to have a child (and then another) -all of these have taken place at Diesel. Diesel has gone from being the first place outside of our house that our children went to my teenager’s favorite hangout with his friends. The sounds of coffee mugs on a table, the feeling sitting on the counter stools, and the sound of Al moving across the café became embedded in the sounds of our daily life.
The people, though, are what took me from stopping in during and apartment search to a regular Diesel patron in short order. Several years into my daily Diesel habit, when our son, Yoni, was born we were exhausted new parents who couldn’t quite summon the energy to walk down the bike path for our daily Diesel run. Two days after we returned home from the hospital, Jess showed up on our front porch with our standard order. It was an incredibly kind gesture and over the years she quickly became our son’s favorite Diesel staff member.
In 2013, my wife Carolyn and I both ran the Boston Marathon as a celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary to raise money for the housing agency that I work for. So many of the staff donated to our efforts, asked how training was going, and fueled us after long runs. We stopped at the café on the way to the race and received a rousing send off from the staff. We were laughing so hard that we cried. Those high fives and hugs kept us going through the race and all of the hard emotions as we walked home that day from Kenmore Square after the bombings.
The following morning, we again stopped at Diesel on the way to retrieve our finish line bags. Just getting out of bed that morning was tough and so a stop at one of the only places that felt safe in that moment felt important. I’ll never forget the sight of Peter vaulting the counter as we walked into the café, hugging us and telling us how worried he’d been. He and others cycled by our booth that morning with support and coffee.
While the coffee and food at Diesel is second to none, it doesn’t even rate when compared to the thousands of moments of joy and kindness that I’ve seen and experienced because of the staff. Jen, Tucker and the countless staff over the last 20 years, thank you for building a second home for so many of us. Your community is incredibly grateful and looking forward to celebrating you as we all grow old!