05 July, 2008

Alternate Neighborhood

Today was the 4th of July, but I didn't see any fireworks. I heard them, but I was much too lazy after stuffing myself at dinner with the family to go out to check out the local display. I was gonna try to take some pictures of fireworks since I recently discovered my camera has a fireworks mode, but looks like that'll have to wait till next time.

I ended up doing my daily self-portrait relatively early, before looking out the window to see how foggy it was tonight. If I had known I would have the fog to play with, I would have waited, but oh well. I grabbed my camera (without the tripod), put on my sandals, wrapped that blanket around my shoulders and went out for a long walk.

The streetlights looked great, as always, in the fog. I took a bunch more fogscapes - too much, I'm sure, but they look so cool. My first instinct was to go to that section of street and take that picture I wanted to take that one stormy night when I went out and got caught in the downpour. That plan went off without a hitch this time. Kind of iffy about the outcome, but it's something.

I was heading back up the hill, thinking about heading home, but I was really enjoying the fog and wanted an excuse to stay out longer. Well, at the intersection, a car sat on the corner I was headed for, and I didn't want to walk right past it and all, so I took a turn instead and walked on down the wrong street, intentionally, to keep the car from getting the satisfaction of closely watching my every move.

That street took me past a school (joint elementary/middle school, I believe) and a park off of a side street that I had been to only a few times in my slightly younger years. By this point, I was getting sweaty from the walking, and the very high humidity, and I was pleased with the idea of going to an area with some darkness, where I could rest /and/ not have to hold the blanket so closely about myself. So I visited the park.

After I got in the park, which is more of a fieldy affair than a woody one - actually, I could be wrong about it being a park, it might very well just be the fields attached to the school - I took off my sandals so I could walk a little quieter, in case there was somebody hanging out in there or something. It was empty.

I walked across the first field, which had a kind of muddy sandy ground to it, and then went down the hill to the second and much larger field. Let me tell you, with the fog blanking out the horizon, it was quite creepy. I don't know if I'd call it a full-blown fear, but I definitely get creeped out at the thought of wide open spaces. Like the water underneath me when I go swimming in a lake, or imagining plummeting through the vastness of the sky - focusing on the vastness and not the plummeting. It's the emptiness and the wideness that affects me. If there are things there, to gauge distances and whatnot, then it's okay. But the vast emptiness...or alternatively, as in the case with swimming in the lake, the idea of not being able to see very far ahead, but knowing that there's space there that could be filled with anything - it's not the anything that creeps me out so much as the not knowing.

Anyhow, scary as it was, it was very exciting. I walked out to the middle of the field, surrounded by a blanket of fog, with only a few lights along the horizon. Walking along, not knowing what the ground might be like under my feet after every continuing step, or what might loom out of the foggy abyss, was exhilarating. I enjoyed it for awhile, and then decided to leave the area and continue on my way.

It just so happens that I was only a block away from my old church that I used to go to before I escaped the prison of god. That place was very cool looking in the fog, with the spires reaching up into haziness and all. I patrolled the perimeter of the building, and the architecture brought up many memories from my youth. I would have loved to sneak inside and lurk about, but that was a bit beyond my limits, so I found a spot on the steps by the back parking lot and sat for awhile.

I was enjoying my rest for not long before I heard a sound over by the door. I determined that it couldn't be a person - that it was probably some dripping water, or at most an animal or something. But even so, I couldn't help feeling that it might be an emissary of god trying to shoo me away from his hallowed ground. As ridiculous as that idea is, the sound accomplished its task of creeping me out, so I left the church grounds and moved on.

I passed the other side of the school on the way back to the main street, and then headed home. I didn't bring a watch, and I had been out so long, I was starting to wonder what time it was. I got concerned when I noticed the sky lightening. I made it back home shortly before 5:30 - much later than I was planning!

It was an exciting night - the fog never disappoints - and with the locations I explored, there was very much a Silent Hill atmosphere going on. Although, luckily, it was more of the eerie daytime (ironically) something's-wrong-with-this-town atmosphere than the hellish nighttime demons-everywhere "Alternate" atmosphere...

1 comment:

  1. That's an amazing photograph. And I can really feel it, knowing that it comes from around here.