Let’s walk together today while we chat, shall we? Make sure to keep at least 6 feet away from me. I mean, yeah, due to COVID, but also, because I have an exceptionally large personal bubble that I like to maintain even in normal times.
Why here, why now, you ask? Well, every day around 2pm, I start to literally shake. Is it anxiety? Pent-up rage? Some as-yet-undiscovered illness that I’ve always suspected and darkly hoped to discover that I have, which will require me to live a life of leisure at a faraway seaside sanitarium? We don’t know. But the only solution is to strap on some shoes and head out for a walk.
I ignored this urge for years, mostly because I have terrible boundaries™ and I have a hard time articulating that I need to be left alone please to take a break from the office please. It feels easier to make it happen now that everyone’s chilling out about scheduling meetings that really ought to be emails. I can just head out the door and if worst comes to worst, I can send a vague and slightly tragic email promising to complete a task when I return from my walk, dropping in an oblique reference to my teetering sanity.
Perhaps they’ll think I’m a Victorian lady on the brink. #sanitariumgoals
Now, what to wear on our walking adventure? As you can see, I’m wearing athleisure that is, for legal purposes, ever so slightly different than the athleisure I’ve been wearing day and night for the last month. It’s athleisure that says: “I’m someone who usually wears clothes, but for now I’m dressed for some high-impact performance exercise that I’m warming up for at the moment. I’ll probably shower later and then put on different clothes, which I’d be proud to be seen in.”
It’s important to present an image, you understand. See, those people waving from across the street? They probably think I showered today.
Oh, I forgot that they can’t see me smiling at them through this bandana I’m wearing. It must have looked like I was just staring. That explains why they looked a little intimidated and turned the corner. Oh well, good for social distancing purposes! Boundaries™!
I like to take a slightly different route every day, just to mix things up, and because I am indeed somewhere near the brink and if I see the exact same scenery two days in a row I’m afraid I could genuinely lose it. Finding a slightly different route every day while still maximizing the time I can spend in Rock Creek Park requires a bit of advanced spatial reasoning, which unfortunately is not always my strong suit.
But what I am good at is experimental trespassing. Does this alley lead into someone’s private garage or to a trail? Only one way to find out!
Plus, it does get the heart rate up to run away when it turns out that that was not a path oh god go go
On a related police-dodging note, you may have noticed that we’re doing a bit of jaywalking. It’s not like there’s traffic. But also, don’t you think “jaywalking” now feels like the kind of bygone concern that the Old World had, quaint like the Pony Express or a fax machine?
I kind of miss traffic. Is that weird? I don’t think I actually mean it. Who knows anymore?
Is my voice, like, really loud right now?
Ooh, a person. Let’s stop and look at them. Not—not in a weird way. Maybe they’d like it if we waved.
Aw, now we’re all waving. It’s so nice to wave at a person.
Let’s yell across the street at them about the wisteria for a while.
It’s nice to make a friend.