I recently attempted to register for a low fire/raku ceramics class, but it was canceled due to lack of enrollment. This triggered a series of events that led to an unexpected but enjoyable weekend. You see, once I connected "I get my money back" with "The House of whowantscookies is having a rollerskating party that I really really want to go to," impulse kicked into high drive. In the span of a few days, train tickets were purchased, I went, and I returned. I was in Philly for less than twenty-four hours total, but I will not forget this brief trip!
On Saturday morning, I was up way before dawn. On the 6 a.m. bus downtown, I once again encountered the Nice Old Man, who began telling me stories about his time with a certain super-secret government agency beginning with a F and ending with an I. If Michigan beaches are a quarter, then the sands in Barcelona, Spain, are a dollar. A familiar subject with him returned: I still need to find a man who will treat me "like the jewel" that I am, apparently! He then shifted the conversation away from that by saying "hello" in multiple languages and guessing things about me. "You've never told me these things," he said, "But I can read it in your eyes. You look a lot like your mother, don't you? I can also tell that it takes you a good while to get mad, but when you do get angry, I don't want to be anywhere nearby! Your hair used to be long, didn't it?"
Once the bus arrived downtown, I bid him farewell and began to walk to the train station. I'm not sure why, but for some reason, I felt absolutely lost. It was as though things were no longer familiar, and there was little to give me a sense of direction. I kept on walking regardless. What else could I do? As it turned out, I knew exactly where I was going ... though why the sensation of disorientation was so strong, it is hard to say.
The choo-choo left New City on time, which was baffling! It was very ordinary in other ways though ... many people, despite having paid for one seat only, stretched across two and ignored the increasingly crowded cars. Well, I wasn't going to sit for that! I spotted a lady sitting in the aisle row. Her luggage took up the floor beside her, barring anyone from the coveted window seat. This was the first time I would be taking a train during the daylight hours, and if I could get such a spot, I darn well was going to! I asked her if anyone was sitting next to her, and when she said no, I performed a graceful fawooosh over her and her forest green baggage, and successfully claimed the window seat with my rear.
I listened to arguments, I listened to a lot of talk about death. It was an amazingly morbid crowd headed to the East Coast that day! I discovered that the woman who was a row ahead of me shared the same first name and the same hometown. Somewhere around this time, the man behind me began to read out loud from his Bible. There was a definite evangelical tone in his delivery, which was both fascinating and incredibly annoying, for I did wish to sleep! He was not the worst of it, though. A strange sound began to fill the car. It was almost impossible to place at first, for it was something between a moan and a chant that went on for hours. What was this mournful uttering? Upon further investigation, I saw that it was a woman singing along to a CD in Spanish. She just happened to be particularly bad and rather tone-deaf!
It was raining in Philly, but this mattered not. I was in, of all things, a non-dinky train station! How new and fascinating! Even better, it was where "Witness" had been filmed! I took pictures for my mother, who is a total fan of that movie, and wandered around until whowantscookies showed up in a car I did not recognize.
I was promptly confused upon entering the House of Chef, for instead of a stairwell going up, there was a curved staircase going down. This had the effect of making it seem like just one room. Once I gave myself a tour and found that there was more to the place than met the eye, I settled down to eating all the M&Ms out of the trail mix 'til people showed up.
Once the party had assembled and looked somewhat 80s, we formed a giant caravan and crossed the state border for some kickass roller skating! I haven't skated since I graduated sixth grade, so I was more than a little awkward at first (why am I rolling backwards!?). I only fell down twice the whole night, and I am going to consider one a noble save, since a crazy kid zoomed in front of me and hit the floor ... why, how kind it was of my poor ass to avoid him and take a fall rather than to use the small child as crash padding! With the help of yuushi, brilliantnova, and jezeroth, I was soon zooming about in a technique somewhat similar to that used by a normal human being!
When going around in circles came to a close, we went to obtain food at a 24-hour diner, where all was good other than the total slow service on hot chocolate. When we finally returned to the House of Chef, we discovered a stefan_, who had apparently met Morpheus himself. Much craziness and Guitar Hero then ensued, and I went around taking pictures (though so few turned out, alas!) and reclaiming the bowl of trail mix.
Somehow, I fell asleep on a beanbag and a pillow. This did not last long, let me assure you! I awoke around seven that morning ... the only other soul conscious was stefan_. Being that we were the only two voluntarily awake, and that the gaming systems were protected by sleeping bodies, we went out for a walk. Or rather, he just stepped out for a breather, and then when I began to wander off, he humored me by accompanying me on my exploration! I went mostly where my feet took me, and he did his best to point out various attractions in the area (a garden, sadly closed, and the penitentiary, now a historical landmark). The morning was very brisk, so we eventually turned back. We were, of course, locked out ... but there could hardly have been a better morning for it, as the sun was brilliant, and everything felt so crisp! Though I normally hate being cold, I hardly minded at all.
We got back in without too much effort, and all too soon, 'twas time for me to go. As the train pulled away from the scene of events, I noticed something I thought I would never, ever see again: an IHOP. I was under the impression that they didn't exist in this state, but they may just not exist in New City!
Can you tell I got tired by the end of this? Each paragraph became so much more concise!