Sunrise at Germantown & Chelten.

The sun begins to peek out above the Walgreens on the corner, allowing your skin to feel relief from the uninterrupted cool air. The traffic in the street is increasing by the minute, but your ride isn’t here yet. You look at your watch and realize that you have at least eight more minutes before the ETA. You do a deep sigh,. And if that weren’t bad enough, you begin to smell an amazingly infectious aroma that plagues your stomach with noise and vibrations. You instantly know you’re hungry. It’s a combination of donut holes, coffee, and chicken teriyaki sticks purchased by the mom-and-pop donut shop patrons that sit behind you. 

As you make your way in, you hold the door for the person on their way out. “Good look. ‘Preciate you” they say. You respond, “you too,” you both nod and part ways while you make your way to the counter. A woman greets you and asks what she can get you. You ask for a look at the selection of donuts and danishes they offer, and you ask for a coffee roll. You hand the woman $1 before she fetches you precisely what you requested. You walk back out and look at your phone to see how much time you have left, and it’s only about two minutes, so you hold off on eating the cure for your stomach. And just for a second, you tune out everything happening around you, but a car horn pulls you back into the moment.

Instantly followed by the loud horn is a broad and bass voice yelling from the same car, “Yo! Wassup, fam?!” The car pulls up in front of the Sneaker Villa across the street, and another man yells back, “Wassup, baby? What’s going on?!” He sticks his body through the passenger side window, and the two’s conversation fades out as a large SUV blasting Bobby Womack stops in front of them behind another car trying to park. Just then, you look over to your left, and those familiar yellow lights you’ve been waiting for are approaching. The marquee at the top of the vehicle reads “26: Rising & Olney.” You hear the air pressure release, so you know it’s time to get on the bus. A handful of students, seniors, mamas with their babies, and folks commuting to-and-from work get off the bus. Following, a handful of  of people get on the bus.

Finally, you make your way to the back of the bus, where you find a seat in the far-right corner of the last row. You put your headphones in, pull out your breakfast, and turn your hat forward. The sun has risen. The bus begins to move, and so do the intersecting street signs outside the window reading “Germantown Ave” and “Chelten Ave.” You follow the sun’s lead and raise your arm, for it holds that sweet coffee roll that you’re about to take a bite of. You take it. You look down at it. You think to yourself how grateful you are for those eight minutes you once anguished. Something about this moment says to you, “Yeah, you can do this again.”

And that is when you know you’ve had a good morning in Germantown.

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