Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?

In my office, we call this guy "our friend." Every single day he stands outside our building on the corner of 16th and Market catty corner from the 16th Street preacher.

He's there from about 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. daily. Regardless of the weather he is wearing long sleeves and long pants, sunglasses, headphones, and has a jacket clutched in his hand. He stares straight ahead down Market towards 30th Street. He doesn't look around, talk on the phone, consult his watch, cough, scratch, or move at all. He is not waiting for a bus. I assume he breathes but I'm not going to check because in the summer he stinks to high heaven. I have to hold my breath when I go near him to cross the street.

The front desk guys tell this tale: Our friend is waiting for his lover, who was supposed to meet him on that very corner six years ago and never showed. He was stood up, kicked in the metaphorical balls. Yet still he waits. He is a true romantic who may or may not have had a mental break when he was scorned by his lady. Ah, life. Ah, unrequited love. Friend, I hate to break it to you...she's probably not coming.

I applaud your steadfast commitment and the fact that your presence is as reliable as that of the City Hall clock. What are you listening to as you wait? Is Hello playing through your headphones? 
image from

Cause I wonder where you are And I wonder what you do...
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart, for I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying, I love you ...

Singing Lionel All Night Long,



  1. i want to come to your office with you someday to meet all the people on your street. nice post, lady!

  2. LOVE THIS!!! SJ, that's just Philly for ya!


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