Yesterday was a rough day. After a long day of selling shoes, walking around in fabulous but decreasingly comfy heels, I headed out to meet some friends and watch the all-star game. (At The Keep, in NoLibs -- a great little bar with a patio in back!) On the way, I found out that my son has been getting into still more trouble at school; that getting divorced amicably is a challenge no matter how you slice it; and that my martial arts training hasn't completely left me. As I walked down Chestnut Street, a guy walking towards me kept moving in my way. I'd move, he'd move. He was obviously doing it on purpose. So when I was right up close to him, he leaned in with his shoulder as if to knock me down or make me flinch, and I did a rising block with my forearm and shoved him outta my way. Kept walking. Didn't look back.
So on my way home, I was still in a growling mood. In my head, stressing about a job interview, thinking about parenting, and so forth. As I entered Rittenhouse Square on the corner of 18th and Walnut, I noticed some skateboarders sitting on the wall by the entrance. One of them called out to me: Hey! Check this out! I looked, expecting something unsavory ... and what I got was this.
With a goofy grin, the one guy lifted up his skinny-jean-clad leg, and put his ankle behind his head. The other guy, with an equally goofy grin, just nodded, as if to say, "That's right. That's what I'm talking about."
I, who had up until this point had a Don't Mess With Me glare on my face, burst out laughing. It felt so good ... and suddenly I noticed the stars were out. There were lovers kissing on a bench. Someone had plugged Christmas lights in and decorated one of the stone urns in the center of the square. Others had brought plastic chairs with them and were sitting in a group, eating and playing soft guitar music.
I love Philadelphia. And what I realized last night was that the city loves me back.