Chance Arrival

It’s destiny, he thinks.  Everything else led to sitting upstairs at the Tap by the window and looking out onto the moonlit façade of the old building across the street.

Sitting at the bar moments earlier, something made him rise and walk to the empty table and chair by the window and now that he’s here, somehow he just knows he’s found his place.

He arrived in Philadelphia yesterday.  Riding shotgun from Chicago after half an hour with his thumb in the air, no destination in mind as he waited for a willing driver, the long haired young dude who picked him up popping Mini Thins to make the drive nonstop after partying all night with his buddy’s band, he decided Philly was as good as any other city to start fresh.  All he knew of the place were cheesesteaks, a famous cracked bell, and the Rocky movies.

His chauffeur, speaking a mile a minute because of the Mini Thins, told him he’d like Philly and especially his neighborhood, though the best place to stay is one neighborhood south, he said, the hostel in Old City.  He didn’t say much because of the kid’s constant yapping, which suited him just fine, and when the fourteen hour drive came to its conclusion, the kid dropping him off on the corner of Bank and Chestnut, he wasn’t sure about an invitation to meet for beers the following night, but here he is.

Now seated and looking out into the calm night with scattered voices and lo-fi music combining to create a steady, energetic hum, he wouldn’t be able to explain it, but he knows he’s here to stay.


  1. I was in Philadelphia the other day so this resonates particularly. Also, I was only thinking earlier on (during a long drive) that we rarely see hitch hikers in the UK any more, and how much of a shame that is. I liked this slice of life. It feels affirming and full of hope.

  2. Thanks, flyingscribbler. It's true of hitchhiking in the US as well, I don't think there's enough trust for it to be prevalent in today's world.

  3. This one suits your background more than any before. The certain artificial yellow of cityscapes is quite evocative while you roll through the night. I could see affirmation at the end of his journey, and at the end of your background bridge.

  4. Hi John, thanks for mentioning the site's background image and its relationship to this story.