Back when I was in college I used to get dolled up and go for a stroll*, but I haven't done anything like that recently. I realized all of a sudden that I didn't have the kids tonight, that I had a bit of freedom, and so, once again, I got ready and took a walk**.
I went downstairs and for the hell of it, went out through The Restaurant. Yes, there's a restaurant and bar in my building, and it's named The Restaurant. The deli next to it is named The Gourmet Pantry. Apparently they grow them real creative out here. I walked through the bar part of The Restaurant on my way out, and passed a bunch of 30-somethings all drinking and smoking and laughing. Part of it appealed, but most of it didn't. Try as I might I don't fit in with that crowd. I walked out the front door and headed down the street.
At the corner I saw a cute girl walking her dog across the street. I turned down and walked down my side of the street, hoping she'd walk down her side so that at some point I might be able to cross over... and then all I could imagine myself doing was tripping over her dog, injuring it, and walking away very quickly while she cursed at me. I suck with women even in my imagination. ;)
So I walked down the street, passing a baptist church where they were apparently wrapping up a funeral. I knew suddenly that I wanted to find that big stone building, possibly a church, or temple, or mosque, or something, that I had seen from my balcony. I strode onwards, down the street.
I passed a bunch of houses, a few random people, an electrically lit park with some kids playing basketball... no big stone edifice, though.
At one point it occurred to me the demeanor of my surroundings had changed. I was standing in front of a gas station, an auto-body shop across the street from me, a few cars driving down the street. The signs in the windows read things like "room for rent" and "no loitering".
I turned down the street and started heading back up to the street I live on, in a roundabout sort of way. I wanted to get back home but not immediately.
So I finished my walk, walking a few blocks up the street, and then a few blocks down my street until I got back to my building.
I spent a lot of time thinking but not about anything in particular. I kind of miss those times. I wish I had a big hill or something that I could climb up and sit on the peak of and just stare at the sky. I wish the building I lived in had an observation deck - it's an 18 story apartment building, the view from the top must be jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The view from my balcony is impressive as-is. I'll post some photos later.
It's a nice idea, though. Someplace quiet, and isolated, but open, up high, the sky unfolding above you... sigh.
* - This is sarcasm. I'd put on my beaten up pair of black leather boots, a pair of black jeans, a black shirt, and throw my long black leather coat and a scowl on top of that and go stalking through the streets of New York City at 3 am. Did I mention I used to hang with the goth crowd?
** - A little different this time, but not all that much. Black Docs (as in Martins), navy slacks, navy button down shirt, long black wool coat. Very similar effect, albeit with extremely different looking clothes.