Walking Cross-Town. With a Note to Todd.

It’s Sunday. Sun’s up and it’s warming. Squirrels are foraging, birds are pecking at the feeders, others chirp overhead in the trees, still bare and free of spring shoots.  Dickens had it right: “It was one of those March April days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

Day of Sabbath. Day of Peace (should be). Several hours remain, and they are leaking fast – Monday’s calendar is already bullying its way in.

So why go here?

Because it goes where it wants.

It’s Friday afternoon, and voila, the appearance of a fortituous gap in the calendar. The elevator is racing down from the 39th floor to the Lobby.  I check the train schedule, 1:04 pm departure, 24 minutes to walk across town to Grand Central. Doable.  Fingers, eyes and mind skitter from the Metro North App, to iMessage, to Work email to Gmail.  The mental box continues to drop, one eye is on the floor indicator, like it might not stop on the ground floor and keep going. The stomach does a wee backflip and settles. Otis Elevator Man has this under control. How all this sh*t works is lost on me. Best I don’t know.

I step into the lobby and then onto Times Square.  A ZOO, even in the drizzle. I glance right, left, and across the street, the scene is Same – the jeweler on break for a smoke, the Construction worker with his florescent vest, the driver of the double decker tour bus, the traffic cop pausing between lights – all have their heads are down inside smart phones, and outside the World.

Me too.

I wait for the Walk sign, and it’s back to Gmail.  I pop open a WordPress notification from Todd’s blog – Bright, Shiny Objects, with the post titled: “Why?” I click the link, wait impatiently for the cell service to catch up, thousands of others doing the same at the same time, the rain, the overcast, the tall looming skyscrapers block satellite reception – it clears.  I chuckle, and whisper: “Truth.”  I punch out: “Great“, hit send, and the gremlins grab it and race off to Algoma, WI.

The signal turns to Walk.

I walk.

Six minutes later, my phone buzzes, the gremlin’s have raced back from Algoma with a reply from Todd:

How do you do it?

I know what he’s after, but I can’t respond.  Not because I’m speed walking across town to catch the train – I can one-hand the response, I just can’t and won’t.

I slide the phone back into my jacket pocket, close the pocket umbrella, and let the drizzle sprinkle on me for the remaining 4 city blocks. Now it’s just me, the rain, doddling tourists, and the clock. 13 minutes to departure.

“How do you do it?” lingers, a thick Bay Area fog that doesn’t lift. It festers, and festers, and then lands.

Well Todd, it is best described like this.

Imagine “it” being this.

It’s August, mid-day, in Algoma. You are at the beach, the waves are softly lapping the Lake Michigan shore line. The humidity is thick, thunderheads threaten to drop it all.  On the bike path down the way, you see a Man peddling feverishly. Not far behind, is his long haired dog, running, overheated, and desperately trying to keep up.

You’re curious. What kind of Man does this to his Dog?  You walk up to the bike path. You see them both as they approach. The Idiot on the bike – his face is blank, his eyes bulging from the pace and the heat, you wonder if he’s been hit with a blow to the head – there has to be a sprocket or governing gear missing.

He passes and now comes his dog.

The dog is foaming at the mouth, his eyes are full, manic, his undercoat is sopping wet, and – – he refuses to let go of his Owner.  He continues in Pursuit.

Now Friend, further imagine this…

You are both the Idiot on the bike and the Dog, at the same time.

So respectfully Todd, I might suggest that the question be rephrased to:

“Why do you do it?”

“And can’t you stop?”



  1. The things we see and wonder about. If only we could be everyone’s boss – we’d soon have the world running properly, right? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. your presentation of the ending reminds me of a rod serling ending. “now friend, consider this….” always powerful and packs a punch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Heads down inside phones while the world passes us by” Why do we do it? Everyone’s response is different. Love the visual of the idiot and the dog and yes, that’s “it” Can we stop? Oh yes, anytime we want and if we don’t, something else will. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And each time you stop – even for a moment – you are neither indifferent cyclist nor exhausted, compliant pup. That’s when your magic appears…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. excellent post, with just enough humour to balance the shadows. Sunday or, at least one day… should be a day to Rest; and not just be another day to overfill. poor dog!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “We are the mirror, as well as the face in it.
    We are tasting the taste of eternity this minute.
    We are pain and what cures pain.
    We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
    Soul of the world, no life, nor world remain,
    no beautiful women and men longing.
    Only this ancient love circling the holy black stone of nothing.
    Where the lover is the loved, the horizon and everything within it.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Parable of The Man and Dog.
    Another reason to read “Live and Learn” (or you don’t live long).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Bright, shiny objects! and commented:
    One of my favorite bloggers wrote a note to me in a post. Of course I have to like it and reblog it…

    Liked by 1 person

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