My husband knows me. I try to act like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he tells me that I need to get out of the house…but he’s right. I don’t like to admit that I’m the type of person that needs time to be with just myself. I’m not sure why. It must be a guilt thing. I’ve always needed time to be alone, ever since I was an adolescent, but I also have this habit of making myself feel guilty for things I need. That habit started with motherhood and that is a post (or twenty) for another time.
Last Saturday, when my darling partner basically told me to get the fuck out – I did. I’ve wanted to go downtown and do a little picture-taking walk, so I put the baby down for her nap and set out on my mini journey.
During the hottest part of the day. In the desert. Did I not mention it was supposed to be 110 that day? Or that I’m a genius?
I drove to Charleston Blvd and Main St, parked at artSQUARE, and grabbed my gear. First Friday, the city’s monthly outdoor art festival, was the previous night. There were remnants everywhere I walked – empty beer bottles and Solo cups, barricades not yet picked up, contractors hauling away lighting systems. People were scarce, except for a few hipster twenty-somethings walking to Art+Bistro and the black guy waiting with me at the cross walk.
He pointed to my camera and asked if I had gotten anything good. I said that I had found some cool street art around the corner and that hopefully I had gotten some good shots. The area isn’t the greatest and I have to admit that I automatically assumed he was homeless, but as we walked he told me that he was visiting from Florida. He had ventured away from downtown into the Arts District the night before and enjoyed the atmosphere, so had decided to come back. This truly blew me away. Tourists don’t usually come to this part of town. He told me his name was John, I asked to take his picture, he shyly complied, then we went our separate ways.
I walked around, weaving through the buildings, finding alleys filled with graffiti – just roaming and enjoying the quiet. The heat has a way of driving people indoors, even on a Saturday, and it made for an extremely quiet walk. I took pictures of things that caught my eye, then headed over to busier Main Street. I browsed a store that had an amazing vintage camera section and décor that I wish I could afford (and that I knew that I wouldn’t buy even if I could afford it because the kids would destroy it), bought some 10 cent books at a thrift store, then headed back to my car. By that time I had been gone for several hours, was out of water, and it was 113. I was a sweaty, disgusting mess – a happy, sweaty, disgusting mess that was ready to be home. Or diving into a pool-sized margarita. Because that is what this girl was thinking about while she was sitting at a stop sign possibly suffering from heat stroke.
Mike told me this morning that I should get out every weekend. Again, I went with the, “that’s ok I don’t need it” approach. But I’m going to, because it’s good for me to go somewhere other than the gym and Wal-Mart. I forgot how awesome it was to wear regular clothes instead of yoga pants.