When you don’t have your own wheels and you can’t rely on public transport or the kindness of those with wheels to get you home*, all you’ve got are your feet. So you hoof it. But you live two and half miles from where you work or where your one-night stand lives. That’s at least 45 minutes of travel. If the idea frightens you, and want it to not feel like three-quarters-of-an-hour, you might try these things:
The most obvious music delivery system is an MP3 player, but strolling with shit on or in your ears makes you easy bait for vehicular manslaughter and other such accidents, and aren’t there cooler statistics to which you could fall victim? Lose the ‘phones and buds and find your voice. Sing aloud. That song that you and everyone else hates that’s so catchy? Instead of transmitting it like an STD to others, keep it to yourself.
“Well, what about passersby?” Collateral damage. You probably won’t see them again, so it’s no use crying over bad first/only impressions. “People will think I’m crazy.” This is the literal translation of the aforementioned question (or the logical statement punctuating it), but really, if that’s the worst thing that’ll happen in your long, miserable life, you’re not in bad shape. Just remember: many people associate crazy with genius, so hypothetically, you won’t be in bad company.
My go-to song is usually the chorus of You Make Me Wanna by Usher. Repeatedly.
Maybe you had some experiences at work or you can’t remember that lump that was in bed next to you. This is a good time to try processing the preceding events. I find that alternating between my head and my mouth gets me where I’m going quicker.
In the case of the former, said experience was probably bad, so you’ll spend a lot of time justifying whatever actions you took and cursing the people who were in opposition and remembering those who had your back. As far as the latter goes, maybe you’ll go over why or why you didn’t stay long enough to get their name or see their face. You’ll laugh because the walk of shame entails more than just wearing the same clothes in the morning as you did the night before. You smell of sex, and there’s a sadistic side of you that wants everyone else to smell it too. Should you enter that mall? That popular local fast food joint? You can only debate it until you pass it.
The Situationists’ idea of strolling involved drinking and the ever-romanticized city of Paris, but one can go-a-flâneuring anywhere and in any state of awareness (or non-awareness, as the case may be.) The idea is that you’re interacting somehow with the physical reality of walking: the trees, the signs, the buildings, the concrete underneath your feet. For Proust, the simple act of eating a madeleine aroused seemingly unrelated memories. For you, walking can have a similar effect. You might pass that restaurant that used to be a different restaurant that you liked. Or that bar where you went on your first date with the person you thought you’d be with forever. You can remember aloud the things the person said, how the night ended, and all the following times you were there with that person and how now everything’s changed and you never talk to them or how they parent a child with you. Look, there’s that gentrified apartment block you and your friend always dreamed of living once you stopped being employee numbers and started being human again. But you laugh because you only wanted to live there to piss everyone else off.
4. Cigarettes & Alcohol
Smoking always passes time no matter what you’re doing. Forget that it’s apparently worse to smoke while walking.
Maybe you live somewhere where the open container/public intoxication laws and/or their enforcement are lax. Purchase a 40 or some Cisco or Kentucky Deluxe or whatever happens to be your poison and move along. This is not the case where I live, so I like alleys. If you are walking in broad daylight, it’s even more fun. Nothing better than daytime drunk. Note: Talking to yourself out loud in this case isn’t as advised unless you like danger. You’ll draw less attention with a slight stumble and a shit-eating grin. Another drawback is that you might be prone to detouring. Just make sure your legs know the way.
Map out your day. Maybe you see an ad for Mexican fast-food. You know that in a few blocks time you can get some greasy nachos on the corner just minutes from your place. If you’ve got Netflix or you illegally download shit, plan to watch a movie or a TV show. Nothing goes better together than food and TV, especially after a couple miles of walking. The pièce de résistance to all of this, of course, is being home, being naked, and being free. Showers are optional.
*Cabbing it is not an option. Odds are you know your city better than the drivers do. Most of them use GPS, anyway.