Walking to work this summer has given me a lot of time to think.
Unfortunately, though, having too much time to think usually just causes me problems.
I had imagined that the walk would be a lovely stroll where I would enjoy the melodies of the birds and cicadas while achieving inner peace.
Instead, the sounds of nature are drowned out by the thoughts cascading through my mind while I am not focused on driving, listening to the radio or doing anything except for walking.
Here is an example of my thoughts on the daily walk to or from work.
- What a glorious morning! This was a good idea to walk today. I feel extra energized by being outside early. How wise of me to walk!. I sure am special.
- What’s that? Someone waved at me? Who was that? Do they know me or just recognize me as that person who walks to work every day? Were they waving at me or just adjusting the sun visor in their car? I’ll be sure to wave at the next car just to be friendly now.
- See, that person waved back at me now. I wonder if I know him/her?
- Here’s someone’s sock on the sidewalk. How does someone lose one sock? Should I pick it up and take it home? I wonder what my wife would think of that?
- Where are all of the bugs in the morning anyway?
- Squirrels are noisy. What can they be talking about? Are they talking about me?
- Hey someone’s on my side of the sidewalk up ahead. I’d better cross quickly to the other side of the street. It’s too awkward to pass someone on a fairly deserted sidewalk in the morning. Am I supposed to say hello? What if I trip? What if I tripped and then my shoe fell off and my sock fell off, too. I suppose in that case, I would just pick up my shoe, walk off quickly and leave my sock on the sidewalk.
- What if we do that thing where I try to get out of the other person’s way, but the other person moves the same way and then we look at each other awkwardly? It’s easier to just cross the street now.
- Lately, every time I walk on Palmer Street walnuts drop down toward me. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Those noisy squirrels are out to get me.
- I’ve still got some time before my walk is over; now would be a good time to replay conversations in my head from the previous day and obsess on if I said or did things wrong. That seems healthy.
- I never should have made that joke yesterday. Sure, I thought it was funny, but I think every joke I make is funny.
- Ha ha ha.
- Does it look weird that I am walking by myself and laughing at my own jokes?
- Here comes another car, get ready to wave and smile, Nick!
- It is getting hot out here. At least I will be all sweaty when I get to work. That’s a nice way to start the day.
- Hey, look at me, I’m jaywalking! I am such a rebel. No crosswalk can contain me!
- I’m going to walk against the way of the One Way signs and enter parking lots that clearly say Do Not Enter, too.
- I have turned into quite a scofflaw! Maybe I should take my life of crime to the bank this afternoon and ignore the lanes they have set up for people to walk in, too!
- I am always confused by these people walking by me who at first seem to be talking to me, but then are apparently talking on a phone, even though I don’t see a phone.
- I am tempted to just make outlandish conversations when walking by people and pretend that I am on the phone, too.
- “George Clooney is terrible at jumping rope. I couldn’t believe it either, but I was over at Brad Pitt’s house playing ping pong this summer and Clooney came by to ask how to jump rope. I know. I couldn’t believe it either. You should see Pitt’s purple ping pong paddle.”
- “It’s my money and I want it now!”
- “I agree with you that Miracle Whip is a terrible name, but I don’t think that the mayor can do anything about it. Yes, Miracle Spread would be better. I don’t know if it is related to Cool Whip or not. That’s a great question. No, I don’t think that telling someone to take your sandwich and then to Miracle Whip it, Miracle Whip it good is a very good idea.”
- I honestly feel skinnier just by walking a few blocks. I wonder if I look skinnier? I better touch my stomach again to see if it is smaller. Yep. Maybe I can see my reflection in the window of the car that’s driving by? Hey, I look all right! That’s what I’m talking about! What was that person staring at? Should I have waved more?
- I feel a little bad for all of these people who have to drive to work. Yes, I am truly the lucky one. I get to enjoy the fresh air, I’m saving money on gas and car repairs, I’m getting some exercise and I’m enjoying valuable time with just me, the squirrels and my new sock. This was definitely a great idea to walk to work! I am pretty proud of myself.
- And now it’s raining.
- Sigh. Only three more blocks.