Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On foot

Here's how I know I'm a New Yorker - I walk everywhere, all the time. I've become completely stubborn about it, too - even when I'm crunched for time, I will hardly ever take a cab, because experience dictates that cab will immediately become ensnarled in the largest, honkingest, not-moving-est traffic jam EVER, and while the cabbie swears and changes the radio station and talks to his five sisters on his cellphone - all at once - I will stare longingly out the window and think, "I could be walking right now, and I would totally get there first".

Even the subway is not to be trusted as much as my own feet, which do not inexplicibly stop moving for ten minutes at a time while stuck in some dark, dank tunnel, and I'm crammed inside with a mouth-breather, a sweater, a person who insists on reading AM New York and rattling the pages like he's sitting at home on his couch even though he is microns away from giving me a paper cut ON MY EYEBALL, a mother with a Sports Utility Stroller and the child is not even inside it, but instead is sitting next to her and screaming at a level I only wish were so high that only dogs could hear and AUGH.

At this point, whenever I consider moving somewhere else - somewhere cheaper, quieter, less full of angry people - I have to consider that it would most likely involve getting a car. I know this because I've had lots of gigs out of town, where I've spent several months in some quiet, gorgeous, bucolic village with a cute main street and trees with wind rustling through the leaves and grass just begging for bare toes, no danger of chucked food, dog poo or used needles in a place like this...

So I grab my sandals and script, leave the car keys on the counter, plug in my Micro, and start down the street. Sometimes the sidewalk, but often there isn't one, or there is one sometimes but it stops and starts like a trail of frosting in the hands of an inexperienced cakemaker, but I don't even care because I'm outside and it's beautiful no matter what the weather and the air even smells cleaner...

And a car pulls over. "You ok? Need a ride?"
"Nope. I'm good. Just walking for fun."
"....you sure?"
"I'm fine, really."

And the person drives on, no doubt shaking her head at these crazy out-of-towners.

I was going through my closet this weekend, and I realized I don't even own many pairs of heels, for an actress and a woman who works in an office to keep body and soul together. Two for work, one high, one low. One pair of green dressy shoes that I've worn once. All the rest are sneakers or boots. This is the closet of a walker.

Sober was recently mocking those women who come to work in their suits and sneakers, and I said nothing because I am totally that woman. Sometimes I walk to work across the 59th Street Bridge to avoid throwing elbows on the N train first thing in the morning.
Which is what I did this morning. It was a rough beginning to the week: the email from my mother was followed up by an email from my dad, much longer and basically telling me I needed to get off my ass and change my life. I cried all last night. This morning, I just wanted to move. I laced on my MBT shoes (bought on eBay but still expensive, but very comfortable and hey, maybe they really will cure my cellulite) and hit the bridge. It was cold, but clear and bright, and my Micro was on shuffle, each song kneading at my emotions, calming my bruised heart and confused head.

There's still so much I don't understand, or like, about myself, but I do know this: I'm a walker, and proud of it.

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posted by Addy @ 3/07/2006 12:07:00 PM |

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