I was on my knees and I had only written this much:
"Never doubt that a group of thoughtful..."
and then I heard his voice:
"There goes our tax dollars hard at work" he sneered at me.
"Hi!" I yelled back and got up and started following him, brushing off my chalk-filled fingers.
"What's your name?" I asked him, half smiling.
He was caught off guard.
He walked faster as if this barely 115lb girl would pounce on his 6'3 75-yr-old frame. He wouldn't even stop to talk to me, only kept walking faster, outpacing me.
"I'm Carli" I said. "We're just here using chalk to write inspiring sayings, trying to inspire people" my voice trailed off.
"Do you have a permit?" he spit out.
"No sir. It'll be gone in the first rain. Nobody needs to remove it."
"Well I'm on the city council. $250 later you could be doing that LEGALLY. Get a permit" and he was so far away by then and practically yelling there was no use for me to keep following the poor guy.
Somehow his words lit a fire inside of me even greater than before and I ran and picked up
that chalk and finished furiously what I had been writing
It Is The
Not long after I finished chalking that someone from parks and rec approached me and asked if I could "cease" chalking. "What do YOU think?" I asked him.
"Oh maam... I don't care. It's not like you're putting cuss words on the ground but this is public property."
"Are you kidding me?! Cease and desist?" I think it would be a wonderful thing to go to jail for CHALKING on the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge, a 32 yr with her 3 yr old daughter. Surely someone in the Austin American Statesmen would pick that story up, wouldn't they? So that was my morning. That's only the second half of the story though.
Emiliana and I went and ran the lake and as we go to pull out our chalk we see further down the bridge that there are already girls doing that!!! I walk up to them as I pull the stroller to the side of the bridge and pretend like I haven't already chalked it up three times prior.
"Wow! This is great what you guys are doing! How inspiring! Have you done it before?"
One of them said no. Then another "Well last time we were walking the bridge and this girl took a polaroid of us and we thought we'd come back and spread the love!"
I was dumb-founded. I was the one that took the polaroid of them. I didn't reveal myself or take off my glasses.
"That's awesome!" I replied and took my chalk and walked to the other side of the bridge. Pretty soon one of the other girls came up to me and said "You were the one that took that polaroid, weren't you?!"
"I was!" I laughed.
We all got each other's numbers and after they chalked one big sign facing the water, they pulled out random chalk leaving it on the bridge (just like I had done last time, encouraging other people to inspire others!!) and they were gone. But Emiliana and I stayed and kept chalking. That's when Mr Poopoopants came and then his brother. ha
Anyway. I'm going to research all of this madness.
Maybe I'll have a huge Austin City Wide Chalk it Up and get 200 people on that bridge to fill every crack with something beautiful. Then make Mr Poopoopants REALLy happy.
Oh man. Life is always an adventure. Grateful for mine.