Walking Cross Town. Solvitur ambulando, as they say

Thursday. Metro North train pulls into Grand Central. The morning calendar is light. I’m in no rush to get across town to the office.

I sit on the train reading Ocean Vuong’s new book: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Justin Torres’ book review: “the book is brilliant in the way it pays attention not to what our thoughts make us feel, but to what our feelings make us think.” And he’s got it exactly right.

I sip it page by page.

The train clears, and I sit alone. Train engines shut down. Air conditioning rests. I sit in silence.

I finish the chapter, with eyes skimming Vuong: “We sidestep ourselves in order to move forward.” 

I tuck the iPad into my bag. I pause for another moment to enjoy the quiet.

Our feelings make us think…” and I feel just below the surface of the skin, the pull, it tugs, whispering: It’s time, it’s time you get back after it. You had your moment.

‘We sidesteps ourselves…’

I resist the pull for another moment, noting its strength, bordering on a Tsunami. Please, give me another moment. Just one.

I grab my bag and walk.

Instead of 47th, I walk up one block and take 48th street. Mixin’ it up a bit.

Silver Star Spa. Small door for an entrance. Chipped paint. Sketchy. “Best Asian massage in NYC.” I bet.

Rockefeller Center. Fencing is up to corral tourists who line up for the NBC Today morning show. I pause to catch a glimpse of Savannah Guthrie, or Al Roker. Unsuccessful. I keep walking.

Fox News building. The neon boards flash 2019 Women’s Olympic Soccer scores. On ground below, there are four mini soccer fields with mini nets. I pause to watch. Young girls running, laughing. Oh, to be that young again, and in NYC.

Crowds line up to get theatre tickets.

Starbucks. I’m not a coffee drinker. I’ve have never stopped in this store in all the times I have passed it.

I decide to walk in.

I can’t see the menu above, I put on my glasses. Dizzying array of choices.

“Can I help you Sir.”

“Yes, thank you. Give me the largest of the sweetest of whatever you have.”

“How about a breve caramel macchiato?”

“Sounds amazing.”

I find a small empty table in the corner and I sit. Feeling what? Discomfort. This, I’ve never done. What’s that? Sit here. Pause. 

I sip on this heavenly drink, watching the Suits rushing by to get to the Office. And the tug starts up again. Pulling…pulling.

I flip open my iPad, read another chapter.

“Only in this twitching quiet did her brain, wild and explosive during waking hours, cool itself into something like calm.”

I lift the cap from the cup, slurp down the sugar at the bottom, toss the cup in the trash, and walk.

It’s Game Time.


Notes:

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    WALKING and more … ‘ Walking, paradoxically, allows for the possibility of stillness…Sometimes I walk because I have things on my mind, and walking helps me sort them out. Solvitur ambulando, as they say. ~ Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. freddiegeorgia says:

    Love this. I would say you are not sidestepping yourself when you order…the largest of the sweetest of whatever you have.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Would you do it again?

    Ocean Vuong is great writer. I’ve been following him since you posted an excerpt from one of his essays for a mother’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant writing, David. Thanks so much for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good for you. You took the “The Road Not Taken.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Going for a walk in the rain. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Every journey starts with one step, right? Next up, another walk – without headphones, just those crazy thoughts that determine how we feel.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This.
    Yes to it all.
    Well, except for the sweetest whatever you have part…
    But the rest. Yes. Glad you forced yourself to stop and resist the pull. Yanno it gets easier each time you do it, right? It’s like the first ‘No’ is painful but then when you realise that you made the right decision with that first ‘no’? You find the next one a little easier…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I was nodding along with your writing until that fateful mentioning of the *bu.. store, then I nearly died of your sugar overkill…. so sad for all those beautiful words before and after 😉
    Dale said it all. Sausage fingers thank her!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ocean Vuong sounds like I should get acquainted with. Thank you for this Dave 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Christie says:

    So glad that you employed self care, by taking taking each step & gift of breath purposely slow…realizing that life isn’t passing you by as you mindfully engage in a detour of delight… as the suits hurry past…as I reflect on my early Thursday morning, standing in the kitchen with my husband the land line on the cutting board, speaker phone on…listening…I’m calm, strong, reasonable…confirming what I’d internally known as my husband’s shocked look, edging toward panic spoke volumes…his love for me apparent as our journey moves along quickly and each breath forward has always been uncertain and the impact of each breath is always a gift….and that is what we do Walk Forward…Drawing Breath…

    Like

  12. Wow! Who is this new Mr K? Loving it and the wisdom of Vuong. When we feel, we reveal our authentic nature and truth! A great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. dk – taking the plunge

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Christie says:

    So glad that you employed self care, by taking taking each step & gift of breath purposely slow…realizing that life isn’t passing you by as you mindfully engage in a detour of delight… as the suits hurry past… I’d say that twice in 6 and 1/2 month stepping out of routine isn’t enough of a breather….
    below is the last time you engaged in a detour:
    https://davidkanigan.com/2018/12/01/walking-cross-town-with-no-next/#comments

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Was doing a bit of mailbox cleaning after last week’s vacation and realized this gem had somehow slipped through the cracks. I loved this, pal, the prose sings. But I love it even more that you sidestepped your regular routine and quit the quotidian for the day to have some new experiences. Next up…a new puppy to *really* sent your senses reeling… please? please?!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A little sugared coffee to calm the anxious mind?! I am glad you pushed your comfort zone. Now let’s take that hike down into the valley and see what shakes out of the trees 😉 Aloha

    Liked by 1 person

  18. We’re workin’ it together from different directions. Gentle shifts in trajectory for a moment or two, feeling the discomfort and allowing it for a moment or two. We care-fully pry open a door previously hidden.

    Liked by 2 people

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