Monday, April 6, 2015

Walk with Me #4 with Carol, Downtown from Union Station To Men Oh Ramen

As per usual, I am always trying to jam too much into a day. I am a woman of extremes. One day, I go has fast as I can and then I hit reset by hardly moving. Well on this trip, a trip people call vacation but what artists called "working on our project," i really had packed in the walks. After two walks, I was pretty exhausted but Carol is an artist I have known and really wanted to work with. The thing is we didn't really have to get to the river. It would be sunset soon and I was starving. I decided to walk with Carol anyway. Why? Because it could highlight that two transit users have a hard time getting to the river. I had already had an uber driver look at me funny for getting picked up on Humbolt and 19th after going to the Ed P Reyes Greenway. And the thought of busing or training to a spot on the river so Carol and I could rush through a walk drove me a bit batty. So we just walked to the ramen place Carol was taking me to.

We met at Union Station. A place I had been through so many times as a transit user in LA. It is not a calm place. Carol was in the Starbucks waiting for me. She let me know she had met a new friend in the Starbucks. And we both got looks as we walked out of the station. It makes me made that men are so blatantly...rude. Like Carol's shorts were an invitation. When they so obviously are not. I don't understand why people think it is ok to gawk. Carol walked on without noticing or without giving them the satisfaction to react to their gazes.

The wind had picked up and the sun was going down and it the wind was gloriously cool on my face and shoulders. Carol and I spoke of her future as she finishes school. And ironically we walked right past the detention center downtown. Carol has been doing a lot of protesting and she reminisced about the incarcerated who had shown lights to show solidarity for those protesting the death of Mike Brown.

Carol is a passionate, so bright star of a woman. It was lovely to hold her hand and connect. She tries to live her ideals. Which has led to a great job opportunity in Dallas after school. Dallas is where Carol is from and having myself moved back from where I am from. We have a bit of camaraderie on that also. We inspired a couple to hold hands as we traipsed through the granite pylons that surround the detention center. She mentioned silence in her writings about the walk. That it was like air between or steps. It was really intense for me to be in the noise of LA and to also feel still and understand what Carol means by the silent parts of the walk. LA is so LOUD but the breeze, the cool, and the calm we had between us created a sort of silence in downtown LA.

We reached the amazing Men Oh ramen place and I hydrated up. And caught up with Carol more. I then got dehydrated and was sort of useless when we met up with our mutual friend Hataya. The thing was...getting these three walks done made me feel so accomplished and that I was doing what I said I would do when I came here. Though I am doing so much better not doing work that is about proving that I am an artist. There is still the drive to not let people I work with down. And to strive to be great even if it is just about holding hands along the LA River.

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