I don’t drive. You all know this already, I’m sure, but I obtained my learners’ permit (under no small duress) five years ago, and that’s about as far along the road to Licensed Driver as I want to go. That’s not to say I will never drive. I probably will, one day. Mostly because the (ahem) encouragement from well-meaning family, clients and friends will no doubt compel me to book my lessons with AMA (or move to San Francisco)… eventually. But, for now, I walk. A lot. Which is a good thing, really, because otherwise my lack of time to exercise plus my long-standing addiction to chocolate would have me looking like Jabba the Hut.
You see? I know what I’m doing. (*snort*)
Anyway, yesterday, I walked back in time. Seriously! I walked from the Stanley Milner library, to the AGA, then west past the place I used to work with its curving sidewalk, along the path at Railtown Park with its steam and patios, past the Meals on Wheels building and The Blue Willow Restaurant with their salty, greasy smells. I walked past the apartment where Mike and I first lived together, and around the greenspaces where I’d had frighteningly deep conversations with old friends about matters of which we knew little. It was a long walk. Maybe thirty minutes in the minus-teens on the Celsius scale. But it was kinda nice to be that girl in the pencil skirt and impractical shoes, clicking home after work to meet my love. Or the girl in the khakis and the screen-printed camel tee, lighting a cigarette for a friend bright with tears because futility can be beautiful, and hopelessness profound. Or the girl in blue cycling skins laying out her paper MEC membership card (on which a guy at a bar scrawled his number, Once Upon a Time). It was nice to visit with her, for awhile.
When I finished my shopping at High Street and clomped over to the MEC parking lot, I saw Mike and the kids in the car and smiled. You know that smile? That Stylistics smile? That you-make-me-feel-brand-new smile, over which passersby grin or scowl or look away? Yeah, I smiled like that. And he handed me the chocolate covered cherries he’d picked up at Bon Ton because he knows me so well now it was no question whether they would be The Perfect Thing. He doesn’t get why I walked so far, though. (“Why didn’t you take the bus?!?!) He’ll learn.