Thursday, December 1, 2011

My S Walk

Yesterday I went for a walk (as I often do) during my lunch break. I generally stay within the same mile and a half radius, but take different streets through downtown. The same road takes me from my building, and I was surprised to see a previously unnoticed statue within a block of my building. The monument was a space shuttle, probably to honor Barbara Morgan, the Idahoan and backup teacher/astronaut to Christa McAuliffe from the Challenger tragedy. I could tell it was not new, as a bird had decided to leave its own mark across the nose of the shuttle.

As I started walking, I took a lazy route that loosely resembled the letter S. The first thing I realized was the space shuttle, so I started listing all the things that started with S that I saw. Here goes:
  • A spaceship
  • Steeples (four of them)
  • Surreptitious smokers (near the local high school)
  • Sycophants (at the same location)
  • A solitary sentry (waiting for a ride at the school)
  • A serpent (actually an awesome red stone dragon, but it was the Chinese kind that are long and skinny)
  • Skeletons (of trees)
  • Sea of leaves (the wind pushed them around like waves lapping at my shoes)
  • Scarves
  • Street vendors (selling hotdogs)
  • State capitol building
  • Sewer grates
After about 20 minutes, I decided that I had better head back to my office. I forgot a hat, and the wind was cutting through the streets of the city. The wind began gnawing at my ears, and the dull ache that comes from semi-frozen ears became more powerful than my desire to hunt for S things.

It occurred to me just how quickly winter can move in. The briskness of autumn had left the air, replaced by the biting chill of winter. The previous day had been very pleasant, although brisk, and the sun warmed me through my coat. But today was not yesterday. Instead, I found my balled fists in my coat pockets and my hunched shoulders trying to keep my scarf firmly in place in hopes that my cocoon of warmth would keep me going until I got back to my building.

As I got within a block of my building, I realized that the wind had died down. The building I work in is not directly against the street. During the summer months, there are staff members sprawled out on the grass having a picnic or reading a book. I have a sneaking suspicion that the wind is always calm around our building because it isn't a tall building next to another tall building. I think the extra space gives the air a more natural movement, yet the surrounding buildings (which are significantly smaller than my building) offer a refuge from the wind.

Or the wind is calm because it knows about all the dervishes within the building and figures that it would rather escape the drama.

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