A crazy thing happened on Dec. 2. I closed on my first home, quite an end to a decade of transition from childhood to adulthood. Something worthy enough to update a bit on.
I’m in the heart of the Fishtown neighborhood of the riverward section of Philadelphia, once a place exclusively for working-class (white) families that has the hipster and artistic communities now that often lead to gentrifying. It’s two El stops, a 15-minute bicycle ride or a 40-minute walk from Old City, full of Dietz and Watson delis, modest rowhomes and pickup trucks with ladders. Now I’m there, too.
One week from yesterday three strangers riding beside me on the 3 bus will be dead.
But I can’t know it. It hasn’t happened, and I’ve never spoken to them before and won’t in the future. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even like know they were there, except for the boy, and that was only because his iPod was playing so loud I heard the bass of his trashy hip hop.
In just six days he will die on the same day as two others he doesn’t know.
I just want to get home without listening to what’s left of the music in some teenage boy’s ears.
I work at my uncle’s deli near Wissinoming Park. Normally my boyfriend picks me up after his afternoon class at Holy Family and has dinner with my dad and me in Port Richmond, but he has some group project. So I’m on the 3 with Jimmy Quinn.