walk man

October 17, 2019

My feet are my locomotive. I walk, a lot. There are details that you miss in a car. Graffiti on walls, flyers on telephone poles, the seasonal planters on people’s stoops. I bump into people that I know; a quick banter en route to the community centre, a smile and a wave from the other side of the parkette. I look at people’s shoes as I walk. The colour of their polish. Or I marvel at the way birds fly in those seemingly choreographed formations.  On some routes, ones I’ve walked countless times, I could tell you every word inscribed in the pavement. I know my favourite coloured doors, laneways, and murals. I know which traffic lights are slow to change. I’ve watched houses being built. And demolished. And trees lose their leaves. And produce blossoms. I’ve read the plaques on most benches in my neighbourhood. I’ve watched crabs scuttle through Chinatown. And raccoons leap out of bins. I’ve watched people kissing, and shouting and crying. I’ve walked so slowly, I’m barely moving. I’ve walked so fast, I am soaked through. Artist Maira Kalman puts it more poetically: “I walk everywhere in the city. Any city. You see everything you need to see for a lifetime. Every emotion. Every condition. Every fashion. Every glory.”

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