Friday, June 3, 2011

Hate The Breeze…

Just so you know, I’m not completely out of touch in my freelance cave.  I’m well aware of the dramatic change in temperature and … humidity.

It did not escape my attention that the second I hit “Post”, a stiff northerly breeze rolled into town and cleared out all the heat and…humidity. 

But I’ve never been one to let relevancy stand in the way of a perfectly good story. 

So, now, Suddenly Summer, becomes, Still Sadly Spring; at least until the next climatic upheaval, which could take place any minute now.   Oh, look…there’s a glacier forming in my neighbor’s driveway. Wait…my lawn just turned brown.

Speaking of relevancy, some of the more constant readers have complained about the lack of posts this week.  Some have even corrected my spelling.  To these well intentioned folks I say….

Well, actually nothing. I can’t afford to lose any readers. 

And by the quality of this particular post, you can understand why.

The problem with this so called “breeze” is that at times it’s more of a gale. I like to take a long walk, once or twice a day, you know, as part of the “creative process”, and given the ferocity of this “breeze” one really needs to be on the alert. There is a distinct danger of being blindsided by small flying objects such as tree branches, hats, umbrellas, newspapers, rigatoni, potted plants and the occasional small dog.  It’s very disturbing to be strolling along, lost in one’s thoughts, only to be bonked on the head by a Beagle…especially if the Beagle has a mouth full of rigatoni. And it makes it difficult to proffer the compulsory phony greeting to one’s fellow walkers if one is constantly dodging last week’s recycling. 

If you’re a walker, you know exactly what I mean by the phony greeting. The thing that acknowledges the natural, yet unspoken, camaraderie amongst walkers. The thing that says, “Hey, you don’t want to die either!

But this camaraderie extends only as far as the trail unfolds.  Put us on line at the grocery store and we won’t even look each other in the eye; unless it’s to give one or the other “malocchio”, the evil eye, for bringing 13 items to the 12 item lane.  However, like I said, put us on a wooded path, or sunny lane and we’re smiling and waving to each other like happy fools who hadn’t seen another soul in over a year.

Of course, like most things, this walker’s acknowledgement, like walkers themselves, can take many forms.  There’s the serious walker, focused, goal oriented, arms pumping, along with synchronistic strides, who will only acknowledge you with a subtle nod of the head.  There’s the happy wanderer, quietly humming, scanning the trees and surveying the skies, who greets you with a verbal hug, a weather report and the current bunny count, out on the trail.  They’ll also correct your greeting from “good morning” to “good afternoon” because they are not fond of inaccuracy in any form. There’s the barking dog walker (The dog barks, not the walker) who not only acknowledges you with a great big sheepish smile, but also the fact that their yapping, growling, snapping dog is just a great big coward at heart…and most likely doesn’t have rabies, even if  that is more than just a flesh wound. .

And speaking of yapping, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the people “yappers” who walk in pairs and yap yap yap about their kids, their jobs, their wives, their husbands and anything else that one is prone to yap about. 

You sometimes feel as if it would be rude to interrupt the yappers, but as if on cue, at the precise appropriate distance (which is also a source of debate.  10 ft. too far...3ft. too close?) they’ll suddenly stop yapping in mid-sentence, smile and proffer a simple, yet polite“hello” then immediately pick up the yap right where they left off. And I won’t even discuss those poor, solitary, miserable individuals who in their poor, solitary, miserable way, refuse to make eye contact and walk right by as if you were trying to sell them insurance. But don’t be fooled…we know who you are, and you are on the list….

And what about the “ Return Loopers”?  You know, like when you’re walking a circuitous loop and you pass somebody going in the opposite direction.  You extend your salutation of choice, comment on the day and pretty much use up all your good greeting material.  Then about twenty minutes later…here they come again.  So now, an awkward moment ensues. There’s enough of a distance between you, as you approach, that the uncertainty morphs into panic.  Desperately, you try to recall just what form of acknowledgement you previously extended.  If it was the big hello, are you safe with just the subtle nod?  Is a weather reference in order, or did you use that already? Do you make a joke about having to stop meeting like this, and risk appearing imbecilic. Do you wave from a distance, acknowledging the kismet inherent in the situation, or casually avert your eyes until the very last second then grunt something unintelligible and quickly move away?

So you see, there’s a lot to contend with on a simple afternoon stroll and so much more that I can barely touch upon here.  There are the passing car honkers who zoom by at 50 miles an hour, expecting you to recognize their protruding elbows as they wave.  There are the iPod joggers, who sneak up from behind and startle you into the bushes. The sidewalk bikers who beseech you with expressions of sheer terror to jump off into the street, because you’ll have a better chance against a 10 ton, moving truck than you will against them.  Not to mention pot holes, cracked sidewalks, bird poop, dog poop, coyotes and did I mention coyote poop.

So you can see why, with all of that…I really hate the breeze….


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