My Goodbye to Kensington
Kensington, Philadelphia. I'm not even sure where to start with you, my old friend. With your cunning, baffling, and powerful charm. With your sweet chaos and irresistible pull.
I remember the first day I met you. It was a beautiful sunny summer day. I had heard stories about you, but I had yet to see you with my own two eyes. I was nervous, but wildly excited to see you for myself.
I was told it was a whole different world where you were. And man, were they right. I remember every turn I took to get to you, the world changing little by little as the streets tightened and the houses grew closer.
I had never seen so many bars on windows and cages surrounding porches. I had never seen so many people flooding the streets and sidewalks. I had never seen such filth in a neighborhood, some sidewalks completely littered with trash, syringes, drug bags, and looking back, perhaps a lot of broken dreams. I had still never seen an open air drug market...
That all changed on that beautiful summer day. The energy you have is electric. My senses were overflowed. My emotions surged! I began to see you for what you were, beautiful yet filthy, chaotic yet I was filled with a sense of calm. I needed, and wanted to see more.
The noise pulled me in every direction, ever changing as I made my way down your streets. Police sirens and ambulances whaling. Dirt bike engines revving, music blasting into the streets. And finally the sounds of the open air market. "Dope, dope, dope!!" "Powder!" "Hard!" "Works, Works!"
...And you were speaking directly to me! To me! You were inviting me into your sick, chaotic world and I ate you right up. I let you consume me, and consume me quickly.
Everyday I would visit you. You and your dark corners and littered alleyways. I drank my surroundings in and became just as addicted to you, Kensington, as I was addicted to the drugs you gave me.
On the days I couldn't get to you I would cry and scream! I'd yell out between sobs filled with panic, fear, and most of all a sickness I felt in every ounce of my being. I needed you now! My entire world revolved around you. I dreamt of you. I woke up and anticipated seeing you again, seeing you and getting that sweet relief every corner of you so easily provided to me.
And then the day came where I had to end it with you, Kensington. You had my life gripped between your every block. My soul had become lost in you and every time we saw each other you stole a little more of my light. My world had become small, so very small because of you and I had to get out before it was too late.
It's been 55 days since we have seen each other. I still think of you, even dream of you on a bad day. I miss you. I miss our sick and twisted relationship. But as much as I long for your ever familiar comfort, I strive now for a world bigger than a ten block radius. I strive to take back, one day at at time, every piece of light you stole from me.
We had a long run, Kensington, and you'll always be a part of my past, but no longer are you a part of my future.