Walk In The Dark

November 2007. Photo by me.

It was chilly and the smell of dead leaves was intoxicating as I decided to take a walk around Atlantic Station on Sunday night. I do love the smell of dead leaves in the Fall and to look at the buildings that comprise our city or any city for that matter. I pulled on my Winter wool coat tucked my camera in my pocket and escaped into the night.

I walked through the park like area that lies in the divide of 17th Street. The bridge is a good place to take in the pond, fountain, Millennium Gate that is under construction and the Atlantic condo building. The bothersome part is the fence that prevents people from getting close to the pond or shall I say retention pond. Why have the pond if people are not allowed to lounge next to it on a Spring or Summer afternoon? I dislike having this pond or any other water feature that is 'look but do not touch.' I do not imagine you would see people fishing or swimming in the pond should you be able to stand next to it without a fence between you and the water. On second thought, there is something to be said for a lack of common sense these days. This was a brownfield site at one time.

I sat on a bench on the north side of 17th Street for a few minutes and fiddled with the settings on my camera. A few cars flew past my back and the thought entered my mind that as Atlantans we treat every piece of paved road as a racetrack. If we are not creeping along in thick traffic we are pretending we are in hot pursuit of a criminal or are running from the police ourselves.

A young couple or two strolled past arm in arm, a women jabbered into her cell phone with a small dog on a leash, and a man was hurrying his dog up to do his business before he returned to the warmth and television that awaited him inside. Other than the young couples and me enjoying the forty degree November night air it seemed everyone else was in the typical rush of life. People never seem to disconnect with the technology of modern life to see what exists around them.

November 2007. Photo by me.

I continued walking east on 17th up past the Millennium Gate and came upon the Justice monument. There is little in the way of justice these days so a monument to it is about all you will find. On the opposite side of 17th there is the Peace monument. It is fitting that they are on opposite sides of the street as justice and peace do not always agree or go hand in hand. 

I was adequately chilled by this point in my walk in the dark. More car traffic whizzed by as I passed the district with the movie theater. People came and went between the buildings and for this late on a Sunday night I was surprised to see people out doing the 'live/work/play' routine.

I moved on taking little notice of the boring glass towers that stand on the north side of 17th. It was the Midtown and Downtown skyline across the interstate that was the focus of my attention.

November 2007. Photo by me.

I could stand all night on the 17th Street bridge and look at the buildings. Day or night the Atlanta skyline, symbol of Atlanta's boom and my own personal pride, is an aquarium. I look at the buildings and imagine the inhabitants sleeping, eating, working and surfing the internet much as fish would do in an aquarium; could they use a computer.

After a few minutes, I thought better of lingering on the bridge lest someone think I was a jumper or up to some nefarious plot. We are all suspects, all the time, in the modern American mind. Never trust those that are not plugged into the rush and technology or are not pretending to consume something. Air and beauty do not qualify as modern consumption, you must partake in sort some transaction at all times when in public -you know, keep the economy afloat for the capitalists. Do not think...just remember your programming.

My walk in the dark ended as I headed back to my gas-guzzling and oversized car. My stomach was empty of the Subway that I had for dinner and my cravings turned to McDonalds. Or was it the radio commercial talking in my head?