This weekend signifies not only the end of the 2012 Philadelphia summer, but also the next step in my life, and my personal evolution.
I've never been religious, and really never will be, but I've become somewhat spiritual over the past year. I guess you could say. And therefore, I've decided I'm going to undergo a... conversion process.
I didn't grow up in any religion, really, although I mainly associated ethnically with Irish Catholicism; and I even ended up with a visceral dislike of a certain strain of Evangelical Christianity (those who know me know what that is, and why, and that's all I'll say for now).
But I hold no grudges against anybody.
At the York-Dauphin El on Wednesday afternoon, while waiting for the bus home, an African-American gentleman with only three teeth approached me to inform me that he believes in G-d and Jesus, and that even though I'm white, he sees me as his brother.
I didn't quite know what to say, aside from 'thank you, you too man.' He once again told me that he's my brother, and I thanked him again before things got a little uncomfortable.
I think he wanted me to ask him about Jesus.
I know all about that, and I'm not interested in ever learning any more. All power to him, however. I truly hope he's found peace. I'm searching for that myself.
Underneath the Market-Frankford El in Philadelphia is one of the poorest and most down-trodden places in all of America, and there are at least half a dozen "Christian Rescue Missions" here in my part of Kensington.
I hope they rescue all they can. Watching my neighbors doing the doper dip at bus stops gets tired quickly, after all.
I'm searching for peace, and I hope to find it soon. Perhaps I can even take youze along with me on my journey.