Local Love Letters

Just in time for Valentine’s Day… 

To: Jefferson University
From: A Loving Neighbor

You complain of our dogs off leash on your grass, better behaved than the drunken students who peed on my house last month, laughing at my futile chase as they fled back to the safety of their dorms where I hoped that they too would be rudely awakened by the awful DJ on the soccer field.

To: Dog owners on Calumet who don’t “curb” their dog.
From: Stinky Shoes

I see you, just after dawn, looking over your shoulder as Fido squats, to make sure there are no witnesses to your heinous crime. When you are sure the coast is clear you continue to walk, oblivious to the mess you have left there on the grass, that waits like a mine about to be detonated by the unsuspecting shoe of someone on their way to a first date, a job interview, to receive a Medal of Honor. Do you know how many dreams you’ve destroyed? How many f-bombs have been dropped in your name? Here’s a box of “chocolates,” each one a reminder of all the mornings and shoes you’ve ruined.

To: Sixers Coach Brett Brown
From: Philadelphia fans

It’s not you, it’s us. We need the kind of spacing you are incapable of providing. Your Maine accent, once endearing, now makes us cringe at the thought of another year spent in this relationship that isn’t going anywhere, especially to the NBA finals.

To: Philadelphia Boomers
From: Philadelphia Millennials

I will not get off your lawn or put down my phone. Instead I will eat my avocado toast while living in my parents’ house, more informed and woke than you will ever be and watch you fade, reluctantly into that good night you thought would never come.

To: La Veranda on Delaware Avenue – closing after 30 years
From: Me

For two years I waited your tables to pay tuition at Temple—under the watchful eyes of corrupt politicians, less moral than the mobsters and their bodyguards who ran their fat fingers across their throats as I walked past in a thrift store tuxedo, trays piled high with filet mignon and langostino. At the end of the night we counted our money, sat on the deck, smoked cigarettes and stared at the dark water of the Delaware, wondering how many bodies were anchored there.

To: Rocky
From: City of Brotherly Love

Yo. In a single film you captured the fighting spirit of our fair city. You showed the world just how beautiful South Philadelphia can be with its hanging meats and fruit lined streets. The tourists flock to the top of the Art Museum steps, raise their arms above their heads in victory, forgetting that in the end, you lost.

To: Philadelphia
From: Philadelphians

Through the sounds of traffic on I-76, the blare of sirens and gunshots, the pleas for spare change, you can hear the city whisper its own poems, of love and heartbreak, triumph and loss, written by the 1.54 million beings who call this city home, in a language only we can understand.

Happy VD from The Local paper! We love our readers… and also our contributors! Submit your own essays, articles, poems, short stories, etc to editors@nwlocalpaper.com. 

About Nate House 15 Articles
Nate House and Mary Conway moved to Calumet Street in East Falls after living on the Delaware Bayshore for two years. Before that they lived in Philadelphia neighborhoods from the Northeast to South Philly. They teach English and Communications at Community College of Philadelphia. Links to other stories about ghosts, birds, dogs and magical fish can be found at www.natehouse.wordpress.com.

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