The bell rang on Friday,
I was out with the busses
Looking forward to a weekend of adventure,
Maybe even a little relaxation.
Late on Friday,
I headed to the city
To meet a friend of my brother’s,
Someone I had not seen since the funeral.
Being so close to the city,
It would seem like I would get there more often.
I couldn’t remember the last time
I walked the streets of Philadelphia,
But once I got off of 95,
The Old City groove got right back into my soul.
Luck got me a parking space
Just two blocks away from our meeting place.
I had time, and walked around,
The apartments open, the traffic loud,
The hipsters everywhere, except one place,
Where the smoke was thick, the laughter loud,
And where it seemed, everyone knew everyone,
I sat, ordered what seemed to be the standard,
Shot and a beer, and waited,
During which time, a lady with a loose,
All too revealing for either or our ages, pink dress who
Shouted over the Grateful Dead,
“At Paddy’s we don’t like it when people sit alone,”
I apologized, explained the situation, and reached into
My bag of “I used to live in Philly” stories.
She grilled me about my old neighborhood,
I passed the test and became part of the crowd.
My new friend and I actually lived a couple of blocks apart
Way back in the nineties
Now I’m stuck in the burbs,
She hopscotches around the city, following the best rents,
Finding the best corner bars,
And acting as the credibility security.
My brother’s friend arrived,
We talked, awkwardly at first,
I’m not sure either of knew what to expect, but it was cool,
Kind of a release, or closure, if that really happens,
Hey, GRIEVING ALERT:
Time is no healer.
Sorry, that was for anyone lucky enough
To not have entertained death, yet.
Maybe this will become an annual thing, maybe not, but
The door is always open,
Or in the case of Paddy’s, the doors are always open,
Front and back, good for circulation, air and people.
So Saturday arrived
With little fanfare and nothing but a subtle vibe,
Suggesting that I was all in for a nothing day.
There were some laps at an outdoor pool,
The water cold and murky from frequent storms,
Green from the serpentine rock dug from the quarry,
There was a bad horror movie,
Billy the Kid Meets Dracula, and there was sleep.
I love those days,
Sunday was anything but,
My son, finally making his move from his mother’s
Taking an apartment in his city,
Just on the edge of that neighborhood’s next revitalization,
Not to worry, he now lives next to a K-9 cop.
We talked a lot today, about the pomposity of cemeteries,
The lack of mysticism in our entertainers and athletes, and
The clash of emotion and practicality.
We grubbed on barbecue, a 16-hour smoked piece of heaven
That I’ve been burping all day,
Each expression, a welcome taste of carnivorous patience,
Gluttony, and good times with my son.
As I write,
Spotify is working a little southern gothic,
I’m lying on my stomach, shoulder to back with my pit bull,
He’s balled up in a blanket, riding out thunderstorms
In a way that would smash the myth of these dogs
If man hadn’t effed them over so badly.
We are waiting out the last forty-five before it’s bedtime,
So I can be rested for the week,
The work, the boredom, the lack of variety
All the stuff that gets in the way,