|Picture walking by houses like this, only instead of a palm tree in the yard, a huge maple|
I find there something supremely enjoyable about walking so late at night. It's quiet, there's no traffic, the air is clean. Occasionally there is the squeak of a bat hunting the bugs around light poles and the buzz of the lights, maybe a cat fight in the distance. And as much as my mother worries, I don't feel unsafe. The most I worry about is coming across a skunk, or a rabid raccoon or fox. This is my time to breathe in the scent of the trees and the plants, to wander with my thoughts. I had a lot of them last night. A lot of realizations about discussions I'd have to have if I got into a relationship again. Thoughts about my own flight risk and my own instability. I also started drafting a blog post, outlining it in my head, about something I've been reading. It will take me probably a few more days or a week before that one goes up. It's going to be painful, but I think people will like it.
I just found some freewriting I did almost exactly 3 years ago about a late night walk in my old LiveJournal:
I just got back from a walk. I used to walk late at night when I was in college, yet this felt like a completely different experience. I thought as I walked that Farmington and Fairfield are not so different, both are college towns with large area high schools and old Victorian homes. The houses are beautiful. There is one down the road that has recently had pesticide sprayed. Despite the rain I can smell the distinctly sickly-sweet aroma and it reminds me of the ant killer spray I used to use on my fir trees when the ants would strip the needles. A lot of the lawns are landscaped but overgrown like people just didn't have time. Most of the houses were dark. Odd for a Friday at 10pm. A few houses were lit. Glances in the windows. Kitchens with stoves covered in the tools of tonight's supper, left behind, ancient spices on spice racks. Doodles and magnets. TVs and computer monitors with that eerie blue glow in a dark room. There was one woman sitting in front of two monitors, one nice LCD and the other I initially mistook for a TV was an old CRT monitor. It looked like she was managing finances. Maybe reading email. In my quick glimpse I could see she was focused, brow furrowed. The sidewalks are very sparkly. At first I thought it was glass but there was no tell-tale crunch and it lasted too far and then I realized there was a high concentration of mica in the asphalt. The sparkles were mesmerizing in the dark misty night. Walking closer to the end of the road I could smell dryer sheets from the exhaust of some late evening foray into laundry. Smelled like Bounce. Odd, that the wind blew but it seemed so still. No rustling leaves. No frogs. No catfights or dogs barking. As I was walking back I thought I heard a woman yelling in one of the houses. It struck me as I walked back that what was different between walking late in Fairfield and Farmington is that, despite very obvious police presence in Farmington, there was the adrenaline rush of fear. Everything sounded like footsteps behind me as I clutched my keys, fingered my rape whistle. Was it because I was young and on my own and everything on campus was screaming at me that rape was just around the corner? Am I complacent that in Fairfield, nearly 30 and with many elderly neighbors that I am safer? Perhaps I am. I am going to keep walking. Next time in the other direction.