Philly in my memories.

Remember Philadelphia
When the world was young and warm
So in love and living for 
Everything new.
– Peter Cincotti, Goodbye Philadelphia

I have this image of us, myself and my close-knit group of friends from undergrad. I have this image of us, walking aimlessly in center city in the dead of night, chattering nonstop. I have this image of us, dressed comfortably in our warmest winter jackets and scarves, fighting against the cold. I have this image of us, all red-faced and puffy cheeks, laughing freely over everything and nothing. I have this image of us, side-by-side and front-and-behind, our steps in sync with each other. I have this image of us, owning the night together because we were young, just budding, taking our first steps together. I have this image of us, bursting at the seams from our first taste of freedom, hungry for worlds beyond our imagination. I have this image of us, carefree and uninhibited, full of love towards each other. I have this image of us, walking together night after Friday night, alone together yet happy.

Oh, so happy.

.

The Philly in my memories, that same one I tuck neatly in my heart, causes me ache.

Some nights I retrieve the memories of us and what strikes me most, always, is the realization that our friendship circle was no accident. We were strangers who were at the right time and place. We were hopeful and idealistic young things who held the beauty of the world in our hearts and still viewed the world as half-full, not yet half-empty. We were blank canvases not yet splattered with life’s colors.

We were the right people at the right place at the right time; we were meant to happen.

The Philly in my memories is an irretrievable time that no longer exists, except in my heart. We are now separated from each other by state borders, country borders, oceans, and continents. All of us, we have each expanded our circle of friends, now giving as much as we’ve received from each other. We have each closed that old chapter and progressed forward to the later chapters in our respective lives.

How I wish that I knew what I know now, just how precious we are to each other.

I don’t know if all of us hold each other in our hearts in the same way and capacity; not everyone keeps in touch with everyone. Memories too, they’re strange, abstract things – full of jagged edges and penetrating scars as much as there are traces of laughter and love, yet we recall only the ones that we choose to keepsake.

But I- I keep them all.

Long Friday nights of endless conversations over a hearty meal, and never forgetting the dessert after. Long walks everywhere and nowhere, wherever our feet would carry us and our conversations would lead us to, as we took in the city night lights and found ourselves, again and again, through each other.

We were the right people at the right place at the right time; we were meant to happen.

I miss them so terribly sometimes, and the us that we all once were to each other.

City night lights, they never look the same to me anymore.

There are all types of love in this world,
but never the same love twice.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

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