Some Sundays you need to do something wholesome. It could be Church or it could be going to see The Muppets. I chose the latter but wound up not doing either as I got distracted by high-schoolers dumpster diving at a middle school. By the time I realized I couldn’t make my movie I was already in the parking lot of the DMV and certainly not about to turn back for home. So I hit the road and made a right. Then I hit the train tracks.
I headed East for the sake of going somewhere as opposed to towards a vast expanse of urban sprawl and started walking. For quite a while I heard the sound of traffic and kids playing basketball in the schoolyard. I also saw a graffiti Bart Simpson head with upside-down crosses for eyes. I passed through a patch of seemingly inexplicable tennis balls (though a friend alerted me to an awesome science experiment). From there I started heading noticeably North until all I could hear was my awkward footfall on the large-grade gravel of the rail line.
From here on was a large expanse of contemplative nothing punctuated occasionally by the railway oddity. For instance, a burnt-out speed boat with no engine, no way to steer, and weeds taller than I. Or the top-half of raccoon ripped in twain by a train so clean that it looked like a jigger. Or a silent man carrying his life on his back who passed me without so much as a nod. When I hit the crossing I headed South and back towards the City.
Up a quick hill and I was back in the land of neighborhoods. I chewed on a toothpick and made my way down the road, keeping to myself, until I heard a woman yell something my way. I missed the majority of it, partially because she was still rolling down the driver’s side window while sitting in the passenger seat of her minivan. So I asked her to repeat it. She did and again I missed it, almost, but I apologized and walked towards her for one more try. But she just claimed she thought I was someone else. What she almost certainly said was “You looking for a woman?”
I made it about a block and a half before I encountered anyone else. I saw them from about a block away, a group of dudes standing, smoking, and not talking on a street corner. I had my reservations about passing by without notice. As I approached I veered a bit to the left to not cut through the center of the cluster and gave the curtest of nods. The man closest to me threw a hard look and informed me “You shouldn’t be here.” I kept walking.
I got a friendly “Sup, dawg?” and a pop in at my record store before I got close to home. Waiting for a light to change I happened to glance at the man standing next to me. Thinking it was a friend just moved to the area, I turned back to him with a friendly face. Then I realized it was John Hawkes and turned quickly away. We crossed the street side by side and both hung a left. I walked a little more quickly and got ahead, but glanced back to be sure I was right. We made eye contact and we both quickly looked away. When I looked back again he was gone, turned down an alleyway to avoid me. How do I know that is what happened? Well his alley made a sharp left where I made a sharp right, and dumped him right out again by my side. After another uncomfortable half a block he cut over to a Chipotle to smoke a cigarette and let me pass.
I made my way home and found $40. Technically only $39, but 40 has a better ring.