The District

I waited at the bus stop, slouched against the chain link fence bordering the basketball court. The area seemed ‘like a beach with out water’ as a friend described it.  Tall, stray, grass sprouted in an unusual enviornment of trash bags and broken bottles. The abandoned lot across the street was like a secret garden un claimed by Philadelphia. Sanctuary for the lost.  Mangy looking characters lurked only at night when their corners were too hot to touch. They would seemingly crawl out of the woodwork into dusty, abandoned, streets to laugh loudly with more of the same.

Kids from the basketball court were climbing over the fence to look down on my slouched body, clinging to a book for entertainment.

“This way is easier!” One girl screeched from the perch of plywood leading to further her adventure over the fence. The others scrambled to share her wealth.  A man stood next to me with head phones plugged deep into his ears as he blocked out the kids playing with out adults. Every so often I caught him glancing down at the words turning fast on my book.

This district is separated from the hustle of Center City. There are few fancy cars speeding by with tops down and upper class women with fake tans and makeup. The cafe’s and occasional trees are non existant and children run around like wild cats. Families live here.  People who have known each other for decades grill bar-b-ques outside and call Washington Ave. ‘center city.’ A twinge of guilt stays with me as I sit outside admiring the district that I have intruded upon.

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