Heart of Steel
You planted your seed in my heart in the brick jungle known as West Gate Village. When Trapper Keepers weren’t whack and Miss Mary Mack really was all dressed in black. But it didn’t stop there. You captured my heart with each Now and Later I sucked on, each game of Hide and Go Get It that was expertly planned, just after dark. Our courtship grew with each can of pop I drank, but never while eating the candy Pop Rocks, cause we were all scared it would kill us. It grew with every handful of candy fish and bag of Snyders Barbecue chips that were consumed while listening to the echo of the crowd cheering for a team made of steel; in a stadium that defined three rivers.
You continued your seduction when LL Cool J’s I’m Bad Album really was an ALBUM, Salt N Pepa was encouraging us to Push It and Dougie Fresh only had six minutes til showtime. When record players were the Christmas present of choice and Garbage Pail kids were more valuable than money and watching Thundercats and admiring Optimus Prime was almost as good as the pierogies that were being eaten while doing it. Your seduction increased during the night games at South Stadium, when Langley was hated almost as much as Westinghouse’s band; and I surrendered to all of it. Without trying, you commandeered my heart in the halls and stairwells of Perry High during 1st, 2nd and 3rd lunch with the essence you left behind for me to inhale and carry with me over the years that grew without me knowing. I was mesmerized with every single trip through the Fort Pitt tunnels, giving way to a view that can only be described as breathtaking as the sun kissed the tips of PPG Place and Mellon Center. Was that you too?
On a cold winter’s day, for a brief moment our souls met at the corner of 5th and Wood, in the shadow of the Steel building. Each not sure what to make of the other but knowing, that one day, they’d meet again. I inadvertently left a little of myself on the 11D Perrysville, hoping that maybe, just maybe you’d take that ride and pick me up along the way. The long trip on the 44U to Oakland, for that trip to Dirty O’s, with each fry I ate my heart called out to yours without me even knowing it. And you answered, without even realizing you did. My spirit stayed behind with each trip I made to the top of Mt. Washington, hoping maybe you’d come thru, tuck it away in your mind and soul to take home with you until it was time to pull it out and analyze it through the years.
And you know what?
That’s why it was so easy, so easy to settle into each other.
You know why?
Because our hearts had already met. They grew up on the streets of Pittsburgh, they played in the fountain at Point State Park. They hung out at Monroeville Mall, ate hoagies and pizza from Mandy’s, got the latest tennis shoes from Honus Wagner and fell for each other over a order of cheese fries from the Potato Patch at Kennywood.
Where will our hearts take us next?