I thought that maybe I'd revive this place by posting the intro to this story i just started writing/living. please enjoy...
I stepped off, heel toe, heel toe, down the street. I smelled heavily of dog. Maddox, the American Bulldog, had just been lying around with me on the steps in front of my grandmother’s house. Her house is an interesting topic. It was a Baptist Church almost a hundred years ago, then a lonely aging priest bought it when it went up for sale, as a residential home. It changed hands many times throughout the century until it rested most fittingly into the palm of my grandmother as she signed the check for it. It suits her.
I planned on having Maddox walk with me, but he had a limp back left leg. No one really knows why he had a limp leg; it just became limp one day. Everyone had their own idea that they all expressed as fact, but none of it seemed to be verifiable to me. He seemed fine enough, he was damn well healthy enough to slobber all over everything, hence why I smelled like him. It was about seven-thirty when I started walking, mid June, so the sun was half an hour from setting. The road had a nice spring to it as I walked, catching stones and twigs and all kinds of bugs between my bare toes.
It was so beautiful, too nice an evening to spend sitting around a table talking nothing. I was kind of hurt that I was all alone, even the dog wanted to stay inside. Then I remembered that I didn’t really want any company, and that I would have rather been alone. I prefer to walk alone. You become too cluttered with other people’s thoughts when you walk with them. They talk, and you listen, and a ringing fills your ears. The ringing of conversation that tends to create a barrier from you and real thoughts. It’s interesting to listen to people talk quickly and furiously about something that seems overly important to them. They never seem to be really thinking. So, I had become decidedly alone.
Behind me, from down the street I could hear a thunderous familiar roar. Rider and Harley rushed past me, with a nod and a smile as I gave him a wave. He looked like something right out of Easy Rider, with the black jacket, leather gloves, shades and helmet, and an Eagle bearing the Stars And Stripes on his back. He was a Marlon Brando, or a James Dean of the new century. A rebel, a biker, a true American, or just a guy with a hobby. The kind of hobby where you pretend to be a bad ass, in your black leather jacket, riding your Harley on the weekends and afternoons to try to get away from your 9 to 5. Either way, it gave me a feeling of really walking, of really being out when he drove by. It made me want to wave to everybody as I walked by them, give them that save feeling of recognition even though, recognition from a barefoot teenager would probably not be as gratifying as recognition from a bad ass hobbyist.
The middle of the road seems to be a lot easier to walk than either of the sides or the shoulders. You’re not slanted either way, and you’re not walking on old wheel treads. It feels nicer in a way. But nothing really feels better than walking on someone else’s nicely cut and cared for lawn. The soft touch that added fertilizer gives to each blade, the complete lack of crab grass, and the feeling you get from knowing you’re trespassing on someone else’s pride and joy. In a way it feels like walking all over them; walking all over their preoccupation with possession; walking all over their escape from their nagging wife; walking all over their two-hundred dollar insecticide. It feels good to know that they technically did have the right to press charges for trespassing, and judging by the looks I was getting from some of the people as I walked by, they seemed ready to do it. They should be happy for letting me walk on their soft lawns. In fact they should offer their lawns to me, seeing as how I was unshod, and my feet needed relaxation.
Imagine actually being brought in to court for that. What would they say as their argument? “He was walking on my lawn! He could have bent the blades!” Some people really need to lighten up about their lawns.
As I continued walking, I noticed something being waved in the wind on the side of the road. A flag, a small, American flag. One of those kinds of flags you see little kids waving at parades, or flailing on the back of huge pickup trucks driven by those people that are desperately trying to be more patriotic than the next guy. It seemed as if it had fallen off one of those trucks. I picked it up and put it in my front pocket and felt very much like that biker must have felt. Truly patriotic, or truly ironic.
I walked around the corner of the old farm road I had been walking on, to a slightly larger road. Big enough to actually have a double yellow line. As more and more people drove by with more and more odd looks, I became increasingly aware of how silly I must appear with no shoes on, pants rolled up to the knees, and to top it off, an American flag in my front pocket. A smile crossed my face, and I picked up my step. It felt good to turn on to the street I had been on before, completing a triangle. The cliché, beautiful sunset enveloped my shadow, making me radiant in orange and purple. I was Jonas, the barefoot kid, the wandering miscreant, the different American, but most importantly, I was walking into the sunset on my way to diner.
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