Monday, July 9, 2007

Confessions of a Jaywalker

Since Rosie passed away in March, I've gotten everywhere on foot. While it's occasionally inconvenient, I think I actually prefer it. I never have to look for a parking spot. I never have to wait in line at the DMV or try to decide how dangerous that ping-ping-whirr-whir-galump noise is. Gas prices can shoot up to the moon if they please, and I never pay them any mind. My favorite thing, though, is the way it grows the world back to its huge, wonderful size.

Five miles is a long, long way again. There are no blurs in my life. Instead I have wide streets, webby-leaved trees, quiet homes, mothers pushing strollers at a jog in 95 degree heat. Walking is an invitation to see. Just today, I saw a midget, with long, delicate arms and almost no torso, who was trying to find her way to the Pentagon. I met a tourist from Savannah, Georgia, who marvelled that I would cross the street against a light (as though the lights in Arlington bore any correspondence to safe crossing, which they do not), and summoned all her courage to follow me. By the time she parted, I think she was about to propose to me on behalf of her oldest son. I saw a woman in the grocery store who wanted me to tell her which home pregnancy test would tell her which days were best for conception. I'm afraid I couldn't get her to understand that it was for after - not before.

It's much harder to meet people, to see things, from inside the deadening confines of steel and glass.

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