Bonus cool points to the first reader who identifies today’s post title. Or, maybe you lose cool points overall, but earn geek chic points, which are more fun. Whatever you like. I’ll give you a hint.)
At any rate, there it is, it’s Friday, and I have little enough patience left to get me through the work week that I don’t think you’d be able to locate it with a flashlight, or a geiger counter, or exploratory surgery, or whatever it would take.
It’s been a week of constant, steady pokes and minor abrasions in every direction. A certain number of those roll off you; you shake them away with a laugh and a “Wow. People!” and move on to your ball game or concert or sculpture night. After a season of pokes and abrasions, my reserves are depleted. My options are at this point to retreat entirely, or to poke back; what I want to do is show up and exude good cheer and can’t we all just get along?
The first sentence I heard this morning was, “I saw you left your car downtown last night and figured you were too drunk to drive home.”
Not that anyone’s asking, but the number of times in my life I have been too drunk to drive home could be counted on one hand, with fingers left over. That is not my thing. That has never been my thing, not even at an age when everyone else was doing it. Apparently because I hear a lot of music, I have been Judged. Those of us who go out in the evening must be up to Something Nefarious. We are apparently Not Responsible. All of that is beside the point.
I left my car downtown last night because we wandered from location to location, and I was closer to home at the end than I was to my car. I left my car downtown last night because it was a beautiful, beautiful night in downtown Raleigh. I hope you were out there, too.
I hope you sat outside and spent time with people you love and ate steak sandwiches on sidewalks like we did at the Mecca. I hope you heard some bands you knew, and some bands you didn’t know, and found some new favorites.
I left my car downtown last night because I have lived in downtown Raleigh for twelve years, and watched it grow from a place where there was nowhere to eat after 5 and absolutely nowhere you could enjoy the sunset with your friends at a sidewalk table. I left my car downtown last night because, on purpose, I bought a home where I could walk downtown any time I wanted to. I invested in downtown when there were crack houses on my street, because I believed in downtown then, and I believe in downtown now. I work downtown for the same reason. I work exactly 1.1 miles from my house, because I believe in walkable cities and good urban design, and I am thankful that Raleigh has evolved into a place with both.
I left my car downtown because, on a late summer night, I could stroll home listening to the cicadas, and hear music wafting out of doorways, and listen to people playing guitar on their porches, and check on my street garden, and see the guy in the apartment complex up on Edenton coming back from his restaurant shift with balloons for his girlfriend.
I walked home last night, because it’s an altogether glorious thing to be able to do.
Deep calming breaths. I’m in my happy place. The weekend is upon us. Good things await.