Hejira

streets of philadelphia

march 28. 2000

was bruised and battered i couldn't tell what i felt
i was unrecognizable to myself
saw my reflection in the window didn't know my own face
oh brother gonna leave me wasting away on the streets of philadelphia...

Dad drove me home to school tonight. He was playing Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits on the CD player, which I heard intermittently throughout my dreams until I woke up as "Streets of Philadelphia" was starting. Exit 24. Soon would be home. Through a haze of sleep, I looked out at the highway, all I saw was inky blackness interrupted by the rain, the windshield wipers and the occasionally oncoming car.

I seem to running into impossibly perfect moments lately. I was cold, the song is one of loneliest I've ever heard, and it was made even more appropriate because the streets of Philadelphia was exactly where I was going.

ain't no angel gonna greet me
it's just you and i my friend
and my clothes don't fit me no more
a thousand miles just to slip this skin

Dad looked over at me. "You're up?"

"Yeah."

"You can go back to sleep, we still have a little way."

"It's okay, I'm up."

There was a pause.

"So are you anxious to go back? Are you going to be able to get all caught up with your work?" he asked.

"Yeah, I think I'll be fine. And for once, I'm not anxious."

"Really?"

"Yeah, really."

He squeezed my hand. I felt a lot better.

night is fallen and i'm flying away
i can feel myself fading away
so receive me brother with this faithless kiss
or will we leave each alone like this on the streets of philadelphia...