By ◆ Juppie on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 @ 3:26 PM

With only two weeks of summer remaining, I've decided to make the most of it. My father gave me the A-OK to take walks by myself, as long as I didn't go too far away from home and remembered to bring my garage opener and cell phone with me.

My plans were foiled the first time that I made up my mind to go outside for a stroll. The sun was particularly high in the sky in the early afternoon, so I decided to wait a few hours for it to go down a bit. But then someone rang the doorbell. I figured that I shouldn't leave the house anytime soon just in case whoever it was might see me and try to talk to me. Or even worse, he/she might realize I had left home and would try to break in. (Well, we do have an alarm system, but if there's no one in the vicinity, you could still probably get away with stealing something.)

By the time I figured I could try venturing outdoors, it was already past 5 pm. If I went out now, my parents might return while I was gone. I would have to leave a note for them saying, "I'm fine, don't look for me" or something (but then they might worry and think I was running away from home). So I figured I'd have to give up on my solo walk for that day.

But on Monday, I gave it another try. I had woken up fairly early that day, so I was already rarin' to go when it was 11 am. I decided to walk to the end of the street that I live on, where the cul-de-sac is (I happen to live at the very beginning of the street, although someone who lives further down the street once said she thinks of my house as being the end of the street). There are gaps in the fence which you can go through to cross the train tracks and enter the park that is on the other side of the tracks. (The official entrance to the park is at the end of a different street. I usually go in through the little side entrance.)

As I entered the park, I saw that there were squirrels running away, probably to escape me, the big scary monster. There were also a bunch of rather funny birds. I am quite sure they were quails. (Quails are California's state bird, but I've never really seen them before. At least, not that many of them at once) They began toddling off quickly when they realized I was there. I followed them for a while (which made them walk in their awkward way even faster) until they reached a dead end and instead flew up to escape me. I guess they aren't really used to people. So they only come out at times of day where the people are far away or there aren't many of them.

I was planning to have a bit of time to myself for quiet contemplation. While walking there I had been feeling quite amiable. However, when I was about to settle down on a bench in the park, I noticed a fly on it. It wasn't one of those tiny ones that don't really bother you. It was one of those big fly sort of flies. (Due to my lack of insect knowledge, I can't tell the species.) There are no other benches in the park besides the picnic tables, which I don't want to sit at because they are close to the playground and the parents with their little kids will probably think I'm suspicious. (I mean, I was taking a box out of my bag. What if there had been a bomb in it? Though I can assure you I am not at all interested in terrorism.)

Then, soon after I dismissed the park bench as being undesirable, I heard a baby's crying. I didn't have much reason to be staying in the park any longer anyhow, so then I left for home, but using a different, longer route. Along the way home I saw a cat, which improved my mood considerably (at least, until it left). Nothing ever turns out perfectly, but I had a lovely time walking by myself. Somehow it's different when you're alone. Even if you're with someone else and you're not talking to them, you're still aware of his/her presence. But by yourself, you can let down your guard and relax for a change.

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