It was Thanksgiving, a day where you really are supposed to have a place to go, a day that should be populated privately with people not from work, not your neighbors or all the usual people you run into during the day.
I am in Los Angeles, a place that isn’t right for Thanksgiving. It’s too warm. I live in a one-bedroom shag-carpeted cottage with two 40-gallon saltwater fish tanks that stand at a random angle to each other in the middle of the living room floor, my boyfriend’s two latest must-haves.
There’s no office to go to which opens the day wide open, my feet can go in any direction, something that always feels good when I open my eyes in the morning, and that by 9 or 10 o’clock feels like a burden, money I don’t know how to spend.
All I know is that I am wearing Levi’s and a tight white tee-shirt. I buy them three-in-a-pack, always size small. It was my boyfriend’s idea. Something about his favorite costume for a girl: Levi’s and a white tee shirt. I have on my garb and my dark hair is parted in the middle and hangs long.
I will go for a walk. It will fill the time and I will feel in motion, like something is happening.
I walk. In Los Angeles no one does this, and no one does this on Thanksgiving. The sidewalk is wide. The streets are more or less empty. The houses have neat lawns, all more or less the same size. I walk with hands in my pockets, enjoying the elasticity of my body, the feeling of strength like I could go forever. I do this well, walking. I am in my element even though I know I will just turn around in the end and go back. Nobody else knows that.
The sky is washed blue. The sidewalk and street are beiges and gray. I walk fast, my strides are long. I am just walking and it is Thanksgiving day.
Ahead I see two boys walking towards me, enough my age, older or younger but enough my age to know that they will see me and I don’t know what will happen.
I am walking, I am striding, hands in pockets. The boys are closer. Maybe as we pass I glance up because it would be too obvious not to.
“I like the way they bounce,” one says with a smirk.
I keep walking. I pretend I don’t hear. The boys laugh of course. They have noticed me. Again, my looks have drawn attention. I am used to this. But I hate the boys, hate them impotently.
There is always a point in a walk when you are not going anymore but coming back, especially in random city walks, a moment when I give up, let go of the spring that propelled me forward. It’s a disappointing moment, the anti-climax.
I like the first part best, the bursting out of the house, full of promise.