Today I was on my computer stuck up in my room in Berry doing nothing could be even considered slightly productive when I decided it was time to get up and explore. I got up with my iPod, keys, wallet, and headed out the door. For whatever reason, I left my phone up next to my desk. When I realized I had left it behind, rather than going back to get it, I left it behind, which I later realized was a very freeing feeling.
To make things easier for all of you to imagine, I used google map to map the path I took walking. It probably looks like a really strange route.
I started walking thinking I would just go for a short stroll down King Street, but once I got to the intersection of King Street and George Street, I decided it would be nice to walk all the way down King. I had all the time in the world, so there was no reason not to. King Street is littered with Starbucks I feel like. One of the major benefits of this though is they all have ATT Wifi, which I can use for free since we have AT&T internet back in Atlanta. Right around Wentworth Street, I realized my lack of a cell phone and stopped in front of Starbucks, connected to the internet and updated my facebook about my phone being home to make sure that nobody called me about a million dollar check or something like that (because of course, I get so many calls like this).
Anyways, from there I passed the restaurant that I had one of my first dinners at when I came to College in August 2008. It is the a Greek Grill and Seafood place called Old Towne. This is one of the first times I have passed it since it reopened. Most of the last year, it has been closed due to a kitchen fire. I can still remember going there with my friends Erin Watson and Narzahni Crumbie. I remember looking at the bill and thinking to myself that I need to not eat there again or order steak at a restaurant ever again.
Following that, with my iPod still playing in my ears, I passed Saks Fifth Avenue to see the signs on the front door about the closing sale. I really don’t know what to think of that. I have never really shopped there (probably partially because that one was only a women’s one to my best knowledge). In the past, I’ve always thought of Saks as a sign that your city is thriving. Is our loss of our Saks a bad sign for Charleston? Not really sure, especially since a new store is filling the space immediately after they leave.
I continued down the road with my headphones in my ears and a smile on my face. At this point of King Street, I always feel like I will never make it to the end. Earlier in the year when it was cooler, I went for a run with Ham and one of his friends and thought I was going to die. This time I was going at my own pace, so I was fine. I passed Queen Street and was reminded of two brunches at Poogan’s where I attempted to chart out my future. The whole time on my walk, I felt like I was erasing plans. More than anything I thought about the fun I have had recently without really trying to make a plan. Sometimes all the plans in the world can’t fix anything. I passed the old drugstore on the right side of the road and was reminded of a trip I made there with Narzahni where she asked one of the old women there if there were ghosts there.
I crossed Broad Street under the shade of several trees covering the sidewalk. Despite the brevity of the playlist I had made as I left Berry earlier, I was really enjoying the sounds. I crossed to the other side of the sidewalk to try to get some sun and noticed to my left of all of small alleys that were by homes. These alleys varied from house to house and have always intrigued me. Most of them are paved in cobblestone. I peered down several and had every intention of going down one, but decided not to. I finally arrived at the Battery. Walking through the shade of the old oak trees lit my face up with a huge smile. From under the trees I could see the water and beautiful sailboats. I walked to Murray Blvd towards East Battery. I gazed into the water and imagined a life where I had not a single care in the world. I imagined a life where my day could start early with the New York Times, followed by a ride on a sailboat with friends, a lunch with fresh fruit, a small dinner, a campfire, and a little bit of a good book before bed.
My thoughts moved towards my future and more than anything, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really want to plan anymore. Planning is great for most people. Usually those people include me. The more I live my life, the more there seems to be a plan. Sometimes we make plans and only later realize that no matter something might not go the way we planned. My walk continued up East Battery until it turned into East Bay Street. At some-point before the street changed, I crossed the road by a carriage and checked the ground to see how hot it was. I was sad when I realized the ground was too hot to go barefoot (if you aren’t sure if it is too hot, assume it is and don’t take off your shoes). Some random guy gave me a strange look for taking off my shoes and then putting them back on, but I continued. I walked near a spot with a mix of memories where there is a spot of beach. I looked down at it and smiled, but continued on my way.
I walked by the houses on Rainbow Row and imagined what it would be like to live there. Imagine waking up so close to the water with the salty breeze their to wake you up. I can’t imagine how good that would feel. I imagined what my life would be years down the road. What will I learn in the next 5, 10, and 20 years? What friends will still be friends then? What will be my career? Will I be married? Will I be happy? Will things be the way I expect them. By this point, I was headed throw the middle of the Market with my sunglasses on.
Unlike my map says, from there, I walked through the Charleston Place (didn’t really know how to explain that on Google Map). When I left by Louis Vuitton (sp?), I passed the greek restaurant. I crossed the street and walked by Banana Republic. Another block later, I found a couple who seemed very confused. They were looking for the Apple Store. I told them, “Your almost there,” and pointed down the street. They were only a couple feet from the intersection of King and Liberty Streets. They seemed relieved to know they were getting close. By this point, my forehead was drenched with sweat and my sunglasses were off, because the sun had finally started to fade. I passed Kickin Chicken, crossed Calhoun Street and made my way back to Berry.
Through the whole walk I thought about my life. My thoughts were about where I am going. It is hard to think about it all. I stopped and stared into the water early on my walk and really asked myself about Charleston. I thought to myself about grad school and about leaving the city. I know I am only a junior, but I don’t really want to leave Charleston. It really won’t be long before it is my time to walk across the Cistern, take my diploma and ride into the next adventure of life. Right now, I’m not really sure what that will be. Graduate school? A job? I really don’t have any answers. Thankfully, time is still on my side.