Mike drove up to the Bronx with his father this afternoon, and is currently parked at Yankee Stadium, watching what appears to be a pretty remarkable baseball contest. I plowed through my day, nose to the grindstone, being uncharacteristically productive for a Friday, and actually kind of looked forward to coming home and having some time to myself: a quiet dinner, some reading, some writing, a glass of wine, bed. But as I rounded the corner of Poplar and Orianna this evening at about six o’clock, I encountered what I imagined I might: on this unseasonably warm October evening, my neighbors (both sides) congregating on the (collective) front steps, sharing laughter and cocktails.
We exchanged the usual pleasantries, extra-pleasant thanks to the liquor-induced lubrication, and I was quickly invited to share an evening of pizza and conversation. I then entered our house, hooked Lucy to her leash, and set out on the familiar streets of Northern Liberties for our after-work stroll. I love this neighborhood. Its quirks, its trash, its off-beat character. And I love our neighbors.
Over a slice, after someone inquired as to the status of our hopes to buy the house we’ve been in since 2006, I mentioned that we are hopefully close to relocating to the (extremely near-by, but suburban, nevertheless) confines of a certain town in South Jersey. There was a time – you guessed it, “before cancer” – when the thought of leaving this idyllic urban enclave would, quite literally, bring me to tears. As soon as we set up here on this magical block, I was convinced I never, ever wanted to leave.
But once again, reality interferes. Economic realities; social realities. Now though, while I will certainly leave this special place with a heavy heart, I also know that we are resilient, adaptable, and that we will find and nurture happiness wherever we go.