Thursday, January 31, 2008

When I Need A Walk






It is snowing now, as January ends. 21 days of snow, scattered through the month. Last night I finished being slave to the machines, having worked 84 hours over 9 straight days, having worked the weekend at the plant by myself, when the DHL delivery guy or the Xerox repairman weren't around. Fighting the robots. So I left work early today, cashed my check at the 95th Street currency exchange. Then I decided I needed a nice walk to 87th. The snow was a fine mist and the sky was a swirl of white, not the howling and the wailing that is most common here. I was glad to be away from the ink and the general smell of crap at the plant, I trudged a familiar route (as all non-drivers chronicle in their memory), knowing where to zig and zag to avoid snowdrifts and potential pratfalls. Enjoying the sweat around my collar, my knees no longer cracking. Passing the Miami Motel with its trademarked logo, a trailer park, across the street were car rentals next to car title loan companies. A Saturn dealership, a Hooters, a Denny's. I could see the huge sign for Four Cities Plaza, my actual destination. At the intersection of 87th and Cicero, going clockwise from the north, there is Chicago, Hometown, Oak Lawn, and Burbank st each corner. When I get rides home at midnight, that neon side is seen and then passed in the time it takes someone to say "up there by that sign." Walking tonight, it took me thirty minutes. I needed it, it was the opposite of building a sweat lodge. But I still hate the snow. And the best part about my walk? I didn't think about anything, not work, not writing, nothing pithy for my blog entry. It felt good to just concentrate on that big neon sign in the near distance...Wayne

4 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes it does feel good to clear the mind, or let it clear, to focus on the sensory.

I find that sign about a "four hour nap" for 25 bucks to be so surreal. The thought boggles.

Steve Malley said...

The only month Minnesota never had snow is July. I remember snow flurries in early June and late August. Mostly, I got through winter by cursing like a sailor with Tourette's every time I was out in the snow.

Oddly, when I moved to subtropical Auckland, I got lonesome for the snow. More southerly Christchurch agrees better with me, since we get a day or two of snow most years, no more.

Just enough for the winter wonderland, not enough for to feel like Dante's Ninth Circle!

HemlockMan said...

Nice recollection, man.

I see snow so damned rarely that I enjoy walking in it. There's nothing to me so pleasing as that crunching sound of snow under my boots. Of course I don't have to deal with 21 days of it in one month. I'm lucky if I see one snowfall during an entire year, and then I have to drive high in the mountains to see it.

Lana Gramlich said...

The last photo is particularly striking. The glow of the lights, the absense of people. Funky. Oh, and...SCREW SNOW!!!