Since I began taking blog pictures, “on location,” I’ve noticed a rather disturbing habit of mine. I seem to be drawn to settings that are rather spooky. Originally I simply thought of these places as, "gritty." However, upon further consideration, I now acknowledge that it may not be a wise idea to traipse around town alone in search of cool abandoned settings. At least that’s what my boyfriend keeps telling me.
Despite my annoyance at his harping, I have to admit that when I photographed the above pictures I was a tad creeped out. I’ve been admiring the exterior of this derelict building for quite some time. Each occasion I drove by I thought, “Man, the color and texture of that wall is good. I should stop and get some photos.” However, I could never coerce myself to actually halt my vehicle. I still don’t understand why.
Finally, one day I saw a window of opportunity. I was prepared to drive by, yet again,…(one has to wonder what the neighbors think of the oddball woman in psychedelic garb trolling the area)…when I noticed that there was a mother and two children playing at the usually desolate neighboring park. I reasoned, “It has to be safe if there are families nearby! Besides they’re in screaming distance if I need help. That little girl looks pretty bad ass. I could toss her that broken bottle lying on the ground over there and we'd have ourselves a fighting chance! ”
As a result of this thought process I was able to muster the nerve to stop and photograph the above pictures. However, I'll admit I was uneasy the entire time. There was just something about this location that scared me. I mean, it couldn’t have been due to the fact that it’s in a rather run down area of town. Nor could it be because it’s on a fairly isolated street that’s proximity is very close to the State Penitentiary. Again, I really can’t figure out what was giving me the wiggins so bad.
Despite the ooky vibe, I took my pictures that sunny day with the sound of children’s laughter in the background. I felt ridiculous for the fear I had previously felt…until I realized my soundtrack of merriment was gone, and I was suddenly alone in a not so great neighborhood, taking glamour shots in front of an abandoned building that nobody knew I was at. As I cursed myself for loosing track of my surroundings I wondered, for the second time, if the same car with a crappy muffler was circling the block repeatedly. At this time I snapped the last picture shown above. When I posted this image earlier on Facebook I had one friend make the comment, “What’s so scary over there?” While I’m still not certain my choice of setting that day was wise, I am pleased I was able to translate a feeling of narrative through this shot. I'll state it's definitely one of my favorite self-portraits.
In conclusion, I’d like to reassure anyone who is worried about my stupidity that I’m usually extremely careful about my surroundings. In fact, I’m so careful one could easily claim I’m paranoid. Did I mention I have an air horn and Mace with me at all times? Interestingly enough the Mace is designed to double as a nunchuck…because I know exactly how to use one of those. It was a gift from an ex-boyfriend of mine who apparently was also concerned for my safety. Come to think of it another old boyfriend gave me a small finger knife…you know, in case I had to stab someone. Also, who the hell gave me that air horn? I know I didn’t buy it. Huh…what does all of this say about me? Perhaps next time I’ll stick to boring old pictures in front of my barn door. I don’t suspect I’ll have to nunchuck anyone at home…unless of course, they’re annoying me.