Tonight Joanna and I went to Little Baby’s for ice cream. Mimi Gallagher was working the counter, and I had not seen her for many years. I met her when I was 18 and she was 15, and we were at the Trocadero to see a sold-out Hanson show. Mimi still has short platinum blonde hair and twinkly eyes, but she’s 25 now. She looks polished yet punky, and was using a loom to pass the time between customers. This made me reconsider my decision to leave my old loom at my parents house– just yesterday, I scooped up my sewing machine from my bedroom closet and carried it by the arm out to the Jeep. Less Netflix, More Projects 2017. 

“Allison, hi! What’s up?”

“I’m moving to Texas!” I told her. “My house is being packed up a week from today.”

I introduced Joanna to Mimi. “You know Joe Gallagher #1? Mimi is Joe’s sister…”

Mimi is Joe’s sister and Joe is Maddie’s boyfriend and Maddie is Vanessa’s old co-worker and Vanessa is one of Joanna’s best friends.

This is one of the things I will miss most about Philadelphia. 

Jo and I sat down with our cups and our spoons.

My mom is making my clean out my room next week, between Thanksgiving and our move,” I said. “Have you done that yet?”

“Oh yeah,” Joanna said. “No one made me, but I did it back in 20o9.”


The weirdest thing, perhaps, is that I feel okay with cleaning out my room. I feel fine. It almost makes me sad when I walk into it now, with the bright purple walls and the junk jewelry collecting dust on my dresser and Samantha and Felicity’s beady eyes staring at me from their perch on the bookshelf. If my mom had asked me to do this ritual cleansing two or three years ago, I know I would have been far more upset. Why do you think that is?

“Two years ago, you weren’t married,” Jo said. “Your family will always be your family of course, but now you have your own family with Zack. You have a home with him.”

I took another bite of ice cream.

“So this is what you do: you lock yourself in your room for a day and look at every single thing. Flip through all your magazines, take photos of anything you might want to show someone someday or use for a #tbt. You don’t need every Death Cab ticket stub. You don’t need every collage Katie Hudson ever made you. Yes, I know what you have in there. And you definitely don’t need that creepy mask I painted for you in 2003. Throw it away. Keep your love letters from Jake. Keep your litmags.”

I’ve been bringing my litmags with me wherever I go for a long time.

Jo and I lingered for awhile, and the dudes from Pizza Brain started wiping down chairs and tables around us. A girl walked away from the register with a peacoat and bike helmet, carrying pints of ice cream in a paper bag. It was Emilie, my favorite barista from our years in Queen Village, when I would hole up at Bodhi for hours on the weekdays. I ran into her for the first time since 2012 at a Billy Penn event a few weeks ago. “I remember you. “I remember you, too!” It took a moment to place her face. I’m not quite as quick at that as I used to be.

I introduced Emilie to Jo. “Tell Tom Henneman I say hi,” Jo said. Tom owns Bodhi, and he used to work with Joanna at Milkboy in the suburbs. We all agreed he was a good dude.

This is one of the things I will miss most about Philadelphia. 

I asked Emilie if I could give her a hug goodbye (she said yes). I waved goodbye to Mimi, who wished me luck from behind the counter. Jo offered me a ride home, but I walked the five minutes instead, crispy leaves beneath my feet on Susquehanna. In one week we won’t live here anymore.







One thought on “Updates

Tell Me Your Feelings

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s