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The weather was beautiful. The spring breeze was a little chilly, but the sun held high in a cloudless sky and spread its warmth as I walked. I just parted with a friend who had to make it to class, so I was left alone strolling through the city. I debated heading back to my car, but the weather was too nice to just up and leave on such a nice day.

What could I do?

I do have my book. I do have my hookah. Hmmm. All the workings of a good idea, and one I decided to follow through

A few minutes later I found myself within the bustling heart of Rittenhouse Square. I’ve been frequenting the park for years; taking long lunches away from work, meeting with friends, passing out after the world cup under the hot sun, but I’ve never smoked hookah in the park by myself. With friends yeah, but I’ve never done it just for me.

I found myself a nice little corner, set my stuff down and pieced my hookah together. A prickling paranoia welled up occasionally as people were eying the pipe with suspicion. No one really cared though, the park had too much going on anyway. The only people who stopped dead and gave me a piercing look of absolute disdain, were these two Buddhist Monks. (I offended the monks ; _ 😉

“IT’S NOT OPIUM “I thought, followed by a quick debate on whether or not I should invite them over, but just smiled until they found their feet and marched on.

I puffed on the hookah like a vagrant caterpillar as I read my book, until the warmth I was so enjoying disappeared behind the buildings and left me shivering.

As I sat, I had brief conversations with a girl named Rachael and a kid named Justice selling  T-shirts. Minor mentions, but despite what I’ve been told since I was little, I like talking to strangers.

Good day was good

Smoke the Hookah alone in Rittenhouse

Minor firsts…

I also turned into a ninja and crept into the Barnes and Noble on the opposite end of the park. I cartwheeled passed the guards, flipped into the ventilation ducts and rode escalators until I found that which I was seeking. The bathroom! Fools, they had no idea. I WASN”T ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE PHILOSOPHY SECTION!!! I JUST WANTED YOUR INDOOR PLUMBING. HAHA. The guards behind the counter and standing at the door were staring at me, trying to piece together what I had just done. I wasn’t buying anything, and I was too quick to have had a real agenda amongst the shelves. They knew. But by the time they realized, I was already gone. (Real life version: I walked through a book store. Paranoid.)

Find AND pee in the Barnes and Noble

On the way out of the city I stopped at a little Chinese restaurant I’ve been frequenting since last summer. I go for the food, the atmosphere and the girl behind the counter. Cute little Miyuki (may or may not be her real name) speaking in an accented English that makes me well up the way people do when they see a kitten or something equally cute on the internet. She places a bowl of soup down in front of me and says my favorite of lines with her squeaking accent “You’re welcome”

Try Mandarin Noodle Soup

 

~M

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