the perfect day

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I’ve entertained thoughts of running away. What child hasn’t? Packing up my meager worldly belongings--ones that my parents bought for me--in a small suitcase--that my parents also bought--and leaving in the dead of night. It’s a romantic fancy that has always been at the back of my brain.
But what if I did?

Just imagine. What if I did leave, just for a day? What would I do? Who would I see?
Here is what my perfect day as a runaway would be.

It would start at five a.m.
Though I hate the effort that it takes to wake up, I do love the feeling of morning air on my face and the pre-dawn darkness that is readying itself to lift. I’d take my backpack--packed the night before, with money, a notebook, pen, a few good books, my Bible, my phone (for emergencies and GPS), caramel popcorn, and my car keys--and quietly walk out the front door, shutting it behind me. I’d be wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and a big comfy sweatshirt, because the air has teeth in the morning and at night. Plus my ugly long black socks and my red Converse.
The gas tank would be full, and, as I’d start the engine, I’d feel free.

First, doughnuts.
There’s this doughnut place that I’ve gone to before, with my mom, and I’ve been meaning to go again sometime. It’s by the beach, too, which is perfect. I’d drive to the doughnut shop, listening to Francis and the Lights’ “May I Have This Dance” and “Friends.” I’d park, buy two doughnuts in two different flavors that I’ve never had before but I’m pretty sure I’ll like, then drive to the beach and sit on the sand with my sweatshirt as a picnic blanket. There, watching the waves and thinking, I’d eat half of one doughnut and half of the other, then tuck both halves back into the bag to save them for later.
Maybe I’d snap a few pictures. Maybe I’d walk to the pier and sit on one of the benches, staring at the waves and listening to them crash on one another. I don’t know how long I’d do it for, but it’d probably be for a long time. After all, I’d have the entire day, and there’s no one there to tell me how long I can watch the waves. I’d have nowhere else to be at that specific moment.
I’ll pull my Bible out of my backpack and read. And then talk to God, because I haven’t talked to Him in a while. And then I’d write.
I don’t know exactly what I would write about, but I’d write about my thoughts and my feelings and my struggles and the things I’m thankful for.

Next, a coffee shop.
I’d find a coffee shop--maybe Peet’s, maybe Starbucks, maybe a random independent one--buy a drink, sit by a window, pull out my notebook again, and work on something. Write down ideas for screenplays and things. Work on my story. Read when I need a break. Write poetry. Observe people. Write character sketches. Write until my head hurts and I need to get out and do something.

Then, LA.
LA is a crazy city, and I have mixed feelings about it, but nobody can say it’s not interesting. I’d pick up lunch somewhere good (maybe an Asian place--juicy dumplings or Thai curry), then head over to the LACMA and walk around and look at things and people, listening to colorful music. After, I’d go for a little jaunt around the non-shady parts of LA. Maybe go window shopping. Browse around some stores. And afterward, I’d hop into my car and start the long trek home.

The drive.
There’ll probably be traffic. (This scenario is not taking into consideration the fact that I’m not great at driving in traffic.) But, if it’s slow enough, I’ll roll the windows down, open the sunroof to let in all that delicious smog, and play my pop playlist, belting out candied Katy Perry hits at the top of my lungs.

I’m a homebody. I love traveling, but nothing beats the feeling of stepping into my own kitchen, with my own family.
I don’t know what we’d have for dinner. That’d be up to my mom. But we’d have dinner and linger around ice cream sandwiches. I’d share the other doughnuts with my mom, who has the same taste buds as I do. And then we’d all go to the living room and watch a good movie, one that my little sister won’t get scared at and I won’t cringe at and we’ll all laugh at.

That would be my perfect day.

What would yours be?

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