On my way back from office today, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now started playing on the radio. I had just taken the final turn from a 6-lane to a 4-lane to my apartment, it was a long 5 mile stretch. I didn’t need the GPS anymore which meant I could finally enjoy the music playing – if you’re a baby driver taking on traffic on a war footing everyday, you might relate.
There’s a scene in LadyBird where LabyBird drives a car for the first time through familiar streets of her Sacramento home. She talks about how everything feels different when you’re driving past them.
I had that feeling last Sunday as I drove through the streets near my place.
It wasn’t extraordinary. I missed being able to halt by neighborhood roads in the morning (because there’s no shoulder here for the most part and no parking on the sides, ugh first-world problems). It was Halloween weekend, some of my teammates were in office with families and that was probably a more interesting place to be. I came to know from Bryan later that that was on Saturday.
But it is magical at night when I drive the roads at 15mph.
The city is almost shameless in its sprawl, yet the narrower byroads are too charming in Texas,
like suburban paved streets interspersed with familial nothingness. They feel like home, the church-fronts are filled with kids in the morning (or a wedding party), and the extensive parking lots are empty and welcoming at night. Lit-up reindeers smile from front lawns of houses tucked away from the main roads, and family cars crowd the streets on weekends. On a related note, some of the houses also bring to mind Virginia the movie with an unkempt front porch, but I’ll let that one slide.
On Sundays, I clearly match this town’s energy.
Everyone dresses like it’s Sunday everyday here, but especially on Sunday. (I’m constantly overdressed in this state).
In Atlanta we’d visit the local Target, a 10-min walk away, a couple of times during the week. If you’re remotely well-dressed, some also-welldressed guy would try to chat you up or a 5’3” dude would ask if you needed help in reaching the shelves. (I’m 5’2.5” for context). There’d always be someone who had clearly just moved to the city, their trolley overflowing with dinner sets and soap dispensers. My local Target here though is filled with young moms and working women like me. All dressed up still, but I miss Atlanta. I was clearly too cocky for my own good during my time there.
Also we need more dates happening in grocery stores! My own Modern Love chapter, I am positive, will be during a run at Target.
Afterwards, Chandelier by Sia came on. I was 2 minutes away from my apartment complex, in the two-lane towered by tall trees and houses with large front porches.
I sometimes dread our parking, but this time I got a nice spot on the 3rd floor. Here we are 🙂