I went out for a walk Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision. I had been contemplating stepping out of the house for a long time now, and I decided Saturday was the day to do it. So I took a walk.
Saturday was also the day I bought a Kindle. I was reading an e-book on my laptop Saturday morning when the laptop battery died (I was too lazy to grab the charger from the sala). This made me to want to buy a Kindle, which then gave me a practical reason to go out of the apartment and walk. So I took a walk.
I could have driven to the store, yes. I could have also taken the bus, but I decided to walk. The store was only 20 minutes away anyway. The weather was gloomy and the forecast said there was a 30 percent chance of rain, but I felt like I needed to walk that day. So I took a walk.
The desire to go outside and take a walk may also have something to do with the book that I was reading that morning. It’s a book about spirituality and building a relationship with God yadda yadda, and it was oddly gripping and comforting that it made me want to do something. It was weird. The feeling was weird.
(I think the fact that this random-ass book got to me says something about my current state of mind. Is this God’s way of calling out to me? Or am I just gasping for breath and desperately trying to claw my way out of a sinkhole?)
Anyway, nothing exciting happened during my walk. I saw one man walking his dog in the neighborhood park, and I saw another man walking towards the downtown area, which was also where I was headed. He was at least two blocks ahead of me.
The closer I got to downtown — the primary urban area of the city — the more people I saw. There was a server-slash-waiter smoking by the backdoor of a bar. There was a group of blonde girls walking from the parking lot to an apartment building while carrying bags of chips. There were also a bunch of dudes who were walking alone like me, except they were all dressed like Jesse Pinkman.
Some of the sidewalks were cordoned off due to construction so I had to walk through the back alleys. I was only slightly paranoid about getting mugged. I walked through the same alleys on my way home, but at some point I decided to take a right turn to get farther away from downtown and closer to the residential area. I saw this sick graffiti on one of the sheds.
I went to the neighborhood park — which was apparently only a few blocks from my building — and saw more vandalized walls. I also saw pretty houses — bungalows, not apartments — and lots of cute mid-level condos. I thought of gentrification. I couldn’t tell whether this neighborhood is in the latter stages of gentrification, or if it is backsliding after having been gentrified. It’s hard to say what my presence in this neighborhood implies.
When I got home, I checked my phone and saw a notification for a virtual meeting with two of my friends from university. I turned the laptop on, joined the meeting, and saw their faces after so long. We also shared stories about work. Gigi shared her plans of moving to a more hands-on job in a couple years, while H shared how he sometimes feels useless in his current work. It was refreshing hearing their stories. I felt less alone.