Philadelphia, PA—Brooklyn is not terribly far from where I live, so waking up there this morning made a clear enough impression that I would be arriving home today. But I still just couldn’t get my head around the idea of being home and staying there. Perhaps in a subconscious attempt to slow the approach, I made a few stops on the way. There was a very nice breakfast with Stan and Shawn Morrison at DuMont in Williamsburg; there was the interminable line of cars waiting to get into the Holland Tunnel; and there was a stop in north Jersey to see Leah’s mom, one of the most vocal Rob Across America supporters. Soon, there was nowhere else to stop, and Philadelphia’s gleaming spires loomed on the horizon.
Traveling to a new destination almost every day for an entire month engenders a peculiar solipsism. Surely, time stops in the places you leave behind, if they even manage to continue their existence at all. The destinations to come are all the radar can register. So it was positively surreal to see Philadelphia—this place from which I departed not so long ago—alive and well and just as I remembered it.
I pulled onto my block around five o’clock, with an hour to spare before a homecoming gathering I had arranged with a bunch of friends at Tattooed Mom’s. I never made it to the bar. There were about twenty-five people waiting for me in my home amidst a mountain of food and beer. Much as I had unwittingly tried to disrupt the surprise party with my own plans, my darling Leah had successfully and stealthily bent everyone to her will instead. And suddenly, there was nowhere in the world I wanted to be more than home.