I walk with some friends in the morning, but the other day I walked alone. The things one misses when alone. The reverse is true as well—what you miss not chatting with others.
I wondered why there were more walkers than normal. As I passed an outside door, the rain fell in sheets. There was my answer.
A thin elderly woman with cotton colored hair, a striped shirt and white pants craned her neck as three new mothers pushing strollers passed her. A huge smile wrapped around her face. I wondered whether she had grandchildren. If she had any, did she see them? Were they on good terms? Were they in town? I sighed feeling blessed that my children weren’t in strollers.
Across the way, I waved to a man in a red shirt that I recognized from previous walks. My friend the matchmaker wanted to hook him up with another friend. I wondered if I had the opportunity whether I’d be so bold as to ask.
A man with Einstein hair, dark shorts that were crawling up his legs, walked slow and I wondered whether he was ill and walking for his health because he looked depressed. A young girl with wavy brown hair was reading a book while walking. That looked too hard to do without running into a wall. Two athletic girls passed and one made eye contact. I wondered whether or not her mind was wondering about my story.
Next thing I know, the man in the red shirt tells me to speed it up. Sweat is dripping off my forehead, rolling down my neck into my already wet shirt. Now I remembered to be careful what I think. I was bold and asked, “Are you married?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Oh.” Now I felt kind of stupid. “Well…we had a friend we wanted to introduce you to.”
I don’t like matchmaking, but felt like I was talking on behalf of my friend. We continued to chat and walk. I didn’t want to be rude and tell him I wanted to walk alone. Nearly finished, I did an extra lap before I bid him farewell.
When I got in my car, I hoped by the time I got home I’d remember everything I observed since I didn’t bring my notebook. Most of it probably doesn’t matter anyway or does it? I suppose we remember what we need to or it pops up when it does matter. In all my observing I noticed how much I’ve changed—it wasn’t all that long ago when I wouldn’t have walked by myself nor introduced myself to a complete stranger.