The long and short of it

January 14, 2016

Resistant in the beginning but I’ve somehow adopted a solid weekday routine: walking to work.

I live about 20 to 30 minutes on foot from work. The first few months were terrible just as most changes are. I hated the heat, people who rushed past me and some who took their sweet time walking as if filming a romantic comedy, and the putrid smell of dried urine lining every possible wall.

It wasn’t easy. I was walking while muttering to myself and inwardly letting out a string of expletives. There was a point when I blamed corruption for stop lights that don’t work and traffic enforcers who are found beneath a perfectly working traffic light.

There were days when I caved in and relied on an app to hail me a cab. But the more I take the cabs that I shouldn’t be taking, along came with it my worsened disposition. I hated waiting for the stop light to turn green.

That was about the time I quit cabbing.

I’m not the most patient person and walking relieves me from it. Within the time it took for me to get to work, I can go as fast as I please. Or take my time crossing, observing people, and trying to commit to memory plate numbers.

Walking offers a form of solitude while being ensconced in the company of noise. It is sometimes bewildering to find myself surrounded by so much movement and yet being oddly comforted by things that remain the same: the stop light on a busy street that only allows a 7-second crossing time for the pedestrian, that middle-aged man who would peddle (probably stolen) phones on the same spot, and the predictable succession of waiting for four traffic lights that separate me from the office to change colors whenever I get started with a red.

There were also good, extremely lucky days. And they were quite plenty too. A good, extremely luck walking day would be finding myself on the green as soon as I get to the first traffic light. But my most favorite of all is the ticking time bomb when I get just a few precious seconds to get across the street.

Many walks are forgettable. People’s faces, which cars almost ran me over and their plate numbers are forgotten as soon I get to my destination.

But I have also come to look forward to it: the constancy in the passing of cars and people, the color switches, and the route. Lucky day or not, just like living, I go forth with my usual walk and relish how time has revealed muscles and strength where there used to be none.



Image from Flickr

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