into the fog of 5 a.m.

So I had the great idea (one of many) to walk into the fog of five in the morning and mosey my way down to 5th and Washington. I could buy some doughnuts, Joe could let me in the front door and maybe my boyfriend would be happy about the doughnuts and forget about the time.

I left the row house just as the sun was starting to come up.

“Don’t go out in the fog! You’ll get mugged!” My much concerned roommate could be heard from her bedroom, but alas… I was too cool for safety.

Past Dickinson and several half streets I can make out the bus stops along the way but not much more than a block ahead of me can I see past morning. Several un-charmed large ghetto-looking women sat on their benches and stared as I stuck out like a ghost. I can only imagine what they think as some skinny white girl clunks along in her boots, hopelessly smiling because ‘hey…. everyone should be polite, right?’

Up to the main street I slink into a corner store and drop all of my 89cents onto the counter. Two ”tastykake” doughnuts. Success.

The woman behind the counter looks at me funny. She turns and says something to the two guys behind the deli stand, apparently they agree. Catching a glimpse of my reflection in the window, I notice my hair is slightly damp from the fog and my once gothic-applied eyeliner has smeared heavy into the mascara. Why haven’t I gone to bed yet? The question still lingers.

I’m waiting patiently (meaning grabbing my coat collar every few seconds and checking the electronic clock bill board with the other few seconds) when a group of boys in dirty jeans and faint mustaches riding in the back of a pick up truck, turn and start shouting. I can’t really hear what they are saying, a lot of whisteling. I nervously dig through my pocketbook in hopes of a distraction. No such luck. Unfortunately the hooker appearance is roaring it’s ugly head.

I finally get on the 47. Safe. Now I only have roughly ten blocks on a city bus until I am in the clear. (so to speak) For five thirty in the morning I have never seen a more packed bus. Sequined pollyester rubbing against fake jewels and afro’s with ‘phillies’ baseball caps smooshing the look. They were all pressed up against everyone standing, grabbing, poking, holding on to whatever possible as the insane Septa Bus driver sped through the empty streets.

Lurch. I’d fall forward. Poor grade school kids with their backpacks are trying not to fall out of the sliding door.

Lurch. I’d fall backward. Sleezy guy in back could be felt poking below.

Lurch. I’d grab on to the rail. And then suck in as grandmothers with their matching suit jackets would scramble off on 15th street.

The whole thing was rather exciting and deathly frightening. I clung onto my pocket book the whole time until it started to clear a little and I could get a seat.

Through out the ride, no one seemed to pay much attention to the crowd except one man who got on when the road started to narrow. We were all sitting down when he got on, said hello to the driver, tipped his brown top hat and said in the nicest,most upstanding way possible,

“Good Morning Folks. Sure is a nice Wednesday morning out there, ain’t it?”

He gripped his walker with a reassuring ease as he sunk down in a seat near me. His suit was entirely made out of nice brown linen and it looked like it had been ironed. He turned to the woman who was now smiling sitting next to him, and asked her how her kids were doing.

I got off at the next stop, but it made me wonder just where they were going further and further down the narrow foggy road to nowhere. Another adventure. Another morning.washingtonave.jpg

By six I reached my destination but my savior in the living room, Joe, did not answer my calls. I called several times. I called from the window. I banged on the door. I rang the doorbell 8 times in a row. After twenty minute incriments I would do the whole routiene over again. At eight thirty I was let in by another roommate who had a salary job at 9 a.m.

Thank God for people who have it together.


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