Tuesday, February 7

Pay phone (at the liquor store).

Pay phone
[PX600 Poor Pod film + SX-70 Alpha 1 SE]

We live a few blocks down from what my dad says is the oldest liquor store in Santa Fe. (I assume he means modern liquor store as opposed to one that is 400 years old!)

It is not a nice liquor store and it draws a lot of homeless people from the shelter that is a few blocks away from us in the other direction. My running route used to take me near there and I finally had to change it because I got tired of people making odd comments or trying to "race" with me as I ran by. Nothing against homeless people or drunks, but I run for peace of mind so I don't particularly like such interruptions.

We bought a six pack there once and both felt awful after a few beers which may or may not have been the fault of the liquor store, but we haven't purchased anything there since.

As I write this, I realize that I don't even know the name of the liquor store. It's a rundown white adobe building on the corner of Juanita and Agua Fria. I think there's a Budweiser sign out front. And I've passed by it a million times yet can't put a name to it. Maybe it doesn't have one. I tried to google it, but nothing came up except a random geotag for "House of Booze." I guess that works.

There is a pay phone on the side of building. A pay phone that probably doesn't work since the receiver is taped together in a rather half-assed sort of way. (Probably hard to see in this particular photo, but if you look closely and squint a bit, you can see what I mean.) It's always been there, but on this particular day, I took notice of it, wondering how many pay phones are actually left in Santa Fe. Left anywhere, really.

And as I think about pay phones, I think about all the times in my life that I've used pay phones. Because when I was a kid/teenager/twenty-something, cell phones weren't around. (And yes, they probably existed when I was a twenty-something but not in my immediate world.) So if I was out at the mall and wanted to go home, I called my parents on a pay phone. When I would fly somewhere to see friends, I called them from the airport on a pay phone. That time I drank too much in Portland and wanted so badly to speak to my crush on the phone, I walked down the street to a pay phone. And oh! Oh that time I left my journal in Spain, my journal of my entire time spent there, I left it on top of a pay phone in a train station. (Pains me to think about that incident to this day!) Shortly after Will and I became involved, when I lived in Pittsburgh and he lived in Brooklyn, he called me from a pay phone in the middle of the night. He had just played a show at 9C (a bar that used to exist in the East Village) and *had* talk to me so he called from the pay phone on the corner. (Insert big smiley face here.)

I used to go on long runs with a quarter stashed in my running clothes so I could make a call if some sort of emergency came up. I don't think that would work anymore! When me and an ex-boyfriend broke down on the side of the interstate outside of Indianapolis in his VW bus, how did we even get a tow truck? We must have walked to a pay phone. And obviously there are a thousand other pay phone calls that I made, but there are certain pay phones memories that are stuck in my brain forever.

Who knew that posting a photo of a pay phone on Flickr was going to lead to this reminiscing?! Not me.

As much as I love my iPhone and my iEverythingElse, sometimes I miss those quieter days of not so much stimulation from so many places. Not so much access. Not so much mind-numbing entertainment. But here we are and it's all good. I'm just glad that I have memories of the days that all this technology didn't exist. Does that make me sound old? Nah, I'm just being nostalgic.


  1. EXCELLENT post J! Keep up the writing!

  2. Anonymous9:13 AM

    This is a great photo, accompanied by some great writing. I enjoyed. xx

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