How probably loving America too much got deserted in Camden and compared to a child predator.

Prologue.’s Tuesdays are a lot  like your Tuesdays.  Only more boring. At least during the summer. Work, gym, couch. Somewhere around the time the national news ends and the game begins, he makes dinner. Nothing to it really.

Chapter 1.

This wasn’t a normal Tuesday. It was an election day. Primary day really. rents a house an hour away from where he votes so voting has got be worth the trek. He’s in law school and he felt like a hypocrite if he didn’t vote. Plus he was persuasively told to try and vote a freeholder out of office. Whatever that is.

There were reasons bigger than civic pride to vote, though. Going home meant a home-cooked meal. Specifically, it meant Chicken & Dumplings. They were worth it, too. It was one of those meals in which you eat a full meal’s worth of food. Then go back and get another portion of the same size. And then go back and get another portion of the same size.

Chapter 2. doesn’t do mornings. He could have passed out in Jersey, but he had work in Pennsylvania on Wednesday. Sleeping in Jersey would mean waking up early enough to drive the physical distance and then earlier still to deal with the time lost in traffic. Not going to happen. was going to go to Pennsylvania.

And go home he did. Well almost. He got to Camden on the highway before the car started shimmying.’s car is a 2011. That sucker shouldn’t shimmy. But it did. Then the dashboard lit up and strenuously encouraged him to check his air pressure. pulled over. You must understand this about He’s not really a shoulder kinda guy. He’s more of a drive to a gas station kind of guy even if it does more damage to his car. Hey, he’s not proud of it. Still, this was not an option because was in Camden and, well, he saw Judgement Night.

In theory, he knows how to put on a spare. Or rather, he watched somebody do it once. 8 years ago. He could probably do it. Just not around witnesses or speedy cars.

So he called AAA, popped open a Diet Coke, and opened a book. A pleasant night in the nation’s second worst city for crime.

Chapter 3. looked in his mirror to see flashing lights. Then just that one really bright light. A police officer walked to his window. It started with an awkward hello. He doesn’t think I’m just hanging out here does he? tells the cop AAA told him it would be 60 minutes.

“Hopefully, it’s faster,” says the cop.


“Good luck.”

Well, that’s foreboding. Didn’t know luck was needed. Wasn’t really worried until you said that.

Then he drove off.

Chapter 4.

The tow guy takes one look at the flat and says, “You have the key?”

The what?

“So I can take off the tire.”

Well, ok. once had a car with a tire lock, but well how should he know where it is? Turns out he doesn’t. He did find the box that the lock came in. Empty. Funny, never touched that. The car is a 2011. He did just have strangers align his tires a couple weeks back.

Soooooo, needed to have his car towed. Mercifully, it was not taken to Camden.

Chapter 5.

His car safely at the closed auto body, was a bit restless. He walked away from the mechanic towards nothing in particular. He found a 7-11.

He casually noted the parking lot was empty. Not because he is staking out the joint, but just to wonder the validity of a 24 hour establishment amongst a bunch of residences.

He walked to Vitamin water. He’s not uber-healthy, but lemonade is lemonade. On the way to the freezers he walked past a mother and daughter at the register.

Once paid he left the premises. He walked outside to hear, “…he came by himself, you don’t know where he came from, there are no cars in the parking lot.”

It’s the mother and daughter. And they think the Ralph Lauren clad is some kind of child predator. made a note to shave more.

They were right about there not being any cars in the parking lot. has nowhere to go to get away from overhearing this conversation. So he just stayed.

The mother looks at him and says, “Sorry, she has a tendency to run away a lot.”

Chapter 6. doesn’t know why he used chapters here. He figures if Tarantino is permitted to use literary devices in his movies, should be allowed to use them in his conversational travel magazine.

Still, books need wrap ups. doesn’t need to strain too hard to know his takeaway is family.

He got a ride home from his brother. His brother arrived after receiving an initial text that read, “Hey do me a favor, drive towards Creek Road.” 20 minutes later he pulled into the 7-11.

Once home,’s mom lent him her car for the following day without thinking twice. got into that car and drove to Pennsylvania.

Bad days and accidents can happen from time to time, but family is always there.

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