Philly's in the house
by Tony Noland
God, that pile's bigger than I thought. That broken concrete's gonna hurt.
Damn straight it will. Forget it. Burn that bridge when you come to it, pal. Yeah, funny guy, won't be so funny trying to climb it. Never mind, figure out a way up once you get there. Climb it, get to the light, get out. One, two, three.
See those sharp edges on the exposed rebar, Danny boy? Better protect the leg. Snag it on one of those and the pain's gonna be a showstopper. Yeah, right, protect it with what? Never mind. Figure it out when you get there. Leg hurts bad enough just to drag it.
Pain would help wake you up, though, wouldn't it? Can't feel the elbows anymore, too torn up from the rubble. Gotta rest my arms for a minute. Gotta rest. I'm so tired.
But not hungry.
Snickers bar... pistachios... pizza...
... so tired ...
Wake up, god damn it, wake up! Focus, you idiot, focus! Come on, chop chop, get moving, count 'em off, almost there. You can do this, Danny boy, you can do this, get your arms out there and pull, just get moving.
Four more, then climb the pile and follow the light. Don't rest, just count 'em off.
Christ, you lying bastard, it wasn't four, it's more like ten. Yeah, yeah, whatever. It's like that half marathon, OK? The Memorial Day thing, back in 2031? Couldn't have done that without lying to yourself about it, huh? Focus, just do it one mile at a time. OK, no problem, just rest for a minute. Elbows are taking the worst of it, and they'll probably heal. Just rest. Catch your breath, then get up there. Come on, you can do this.
Rest just a minute. Just, just for a minute.
Yeah, I know. You're cold and hungry and thirsty, and big fuckin' earthquakes aren't supposed to hit the East Coast and it's not fair and blah, blah, blah, and people in hell want ice water. Get over there. Use your arms, crawl god damn it, right now. Now, Danny, now!
OK. OK. Now, push up and get up there. We got water and blankets and food up there. Yeah, Danny, there's coffee and fried chicken and rum and cokes and pie and ice cold martinis with three olives and
Come on, Danny, doctors can't fix you if you don't get up there, can they? There's doctors and nurses and EMTs and all kinds of people. Leg's a loss, it's gotta be, but if you get up there, they can take it off clean, get you a nice clean stump to work with. They got blood and morphine and antibiotics up there, don't they? And if you don't get up there, an aftershock's gonna get you, boy. You hear me? Aftershocks gonna bring down this whole slab. Cheap ass parking garage concrete ain't gonna last forever, man.
Come on, you lucky bastard. Everybody else was crushed flat, but you got eighteen inches. Eighteen inches, floor to ceiling, you gonna gripe about it? Waste it? More than anybody else got. You even got some rainwater to drink. You been lucky for three fuckin' days, jerkface, you think it's gonna last forever? Are you from south Philly or not? Philly's in the house, man. I bet Baltimore and New York got hit, too. Betcha they're climbing in New York. You just know they're climbing out of the rubble up in New York, you know that, don't you Danny? You gonna let New York show us up? Come on, Philly, whadda you got? Get up there. Get up there, Danny. Get out. Gotta get up there.
I will. I will. I just need to rest for a minute.
Just for a minute.
Just a minute.
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