There were cars lining the street. Circus tents three doors down; Something very flea market-y up the block that was especially drawing a crowd. I drank coffee on the front porch with a book, watching every time a carload pulled up and invented a new curb-defying way to park. A couple walked down the street empty handed. They returned three minutes later each studying a set of new old drinking glass. Big day, eh suckers?
Eventually this amateur social scientist started to notice a trend: Every single rummage sale attendee was wearing cropped pants, usually denim, and open toed sandals. (Insert three paragraphs about how open-toed shoes totally gross me out, then casually mention that cropped pants are stupid. Soften this tirade by mentioning that the later it is at night, the more interested I become in infomercials about Pajama Jeans. Admit that I have not set of a precedent of being a valuable fashion resource. Advise people to carpe diem in whatever clothing makes them happy).
I went downtown to a Norwegian cafe for lunch and Lingonberry juice and to see what happens when I write in public. This was quite pleasant. I worked on a short story based on the time we lived across the street from a college party house and I overheard one of the boys telling his friend that he had been so drunk that he had gone into the wrong house the previous night and fallen asleep on the neighbor's couch. He was almost murdered by the groggy home owner.
Anyway, now we live in a neighborhood where people get garage sale-drunk and slip into a pair of cropped pants and open toed shoes seemingly just to make my bile bungee.
I stopped into a downtown store just in time to catch a thwarted shoplifting experience play out. Our former neighbor was just clocking out for the day. She's a little bit rock and roll, this girl. And she happened to be leaving the store at the same time as the thief, who had a pocket full of hot sunglasses.
"The register is up there," she said to the drunk woman pulling the heist.
"You were going to pay for those, right?"
The woman mumbled something and the former neighbor took back the shades and demanded that the woman empty her pockets. The woman swore she wasn't stealing. Then she got a little feisty.
"I can hear your pockets jangling," the former neighbor said. "Empty your pockets or we're calling the police."
Another store employee called 911 and the woman pulled a spin move on the downstairs neighbor and barreled out of the store. The former neighbor took the phone, described her outfit and where she was headed. When she brought the phone back inside, another man on a phone was on the sidewalk watching the shoplifter, describing her appearance and where she was headed.
This man turned out to be another shop owner on the block.
"She'd been prostituting in my store," he said.
I tried on some clothes, remembered I'm 35, left.
I got down to Canal Park just in time to intersect with two police cars slowly driving down a non-road near the lakewalk.
"Did you see a drunk guy passed out around here?" the first cop asked me through his window.
"Hm," I said. "I guess I saw someone lying down near the Porta Potties."
A woman on the lakewalk had a snake wrapped around her neck and I freaked the fuck out. She saw my face and held up a hand like "Don't worry, he's not going to kill me. He's my pet. My little friend. He's a good snake."
But that look didn't say "I'm not going to put my snake in your hair," so I busted on out of there, a single slither from having a panic attack.
I sat on a bench and read. Chuck and I bought some plants for the front yard. I made falafel for dinner. Now I'm waiting for the food processor to run through the dishwasher so I can make a no-bake chocolate torte that has avocado in it. I'm going to listen to The Hold Steady while it doesn't bake.