Sunday, August 13, 2017

Flirting With Fear

   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.

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