Pedestrian Thoughts

"So," I said, somewhat desperately, "if I can't ride my bike until this gets better, what do I do?"
My physiotherapist looked at me. He wrinkled his lips. He started to answer, and then considered his reply. The delay was just long enough to send its own message. Like a dash after a long in Morse Code.
And then he said: "Walk."

Well, that shorely makes me old, I thought. As old as the physiotherapist giving me the advice, I thought. Walk? I thought. I said nothing. But, really, waaalllkkk?

There is a scientific explanation for what is wrong with my neck and a mechanical explanation for pain in the shoulder blades and arm and the numbness in my fingers. I have my own description of it. But my mother reads these blogs, so I can't use "F---!"

The pain has knocked me off my daily bicycle commute, and that is sad. And it's dangerous, too, because the camouflaged sitting sneaks back in. Sitting at work, sitting at home and now sitting in the car on the way to work. All different contexts for sitting. But, skeletally, all the same. The legs never move.

Walk, my physiotherapist said.

So, I have started walking. I walk on the weekend to feed the chickadees in Laurier Park. And I walk to Meadowlark to get new painkillers. I walk to Andy's IGA on 142 St. and carry groceries home. On the weekend, I walked to the University. And as many times as I can, I walk to work. It takes about 85 minutes.

It takes between 87 minutes and 89 minutes if I stop to take pictures. Like this morning.

As I moved out of the lower MacKinnon Ravine and up toward the Victoria Park Hill, I sensed something was not like it usually was. In a big way. What was different? It took me a second to figure it out. I took out my phone. That's my instinct. Outsource my memory.

Hoar frost screen

The nets on the Victoria Park Golf Course driving range stood solid white, painted in 86% humidity hoar frost.

And then the scene came to life.

Movie time

The lamp of the sun projected the shadows of the Saskatchewan Drive highrises onto the screen. Before I could consciously trigger the analogy engine (it was like a giant Lumiere Brothers movie projector, I would later decide)  I was back, for a moment, my pajamas under my clothes, at the Twin Drive In on 137th Ave., eight years old. This was a winter drive-in theatre. Or, a walk-up theatre, actually.

It was stunning. I stood there. The cars flowed by. Another ped stopped and said in a puff of water vapour breath: "Of all the years I have been walking here, I have never seen something like that."

I kept climbing the hill and kept looking back. The scene just stayed there.

Can't stop watching

I think I'll walk this winter, yes. I will, I see.


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