There is this stretch of road in a little town called Hamlin. It is about a mile, maybe a little under that. Now, the last time I checked it went from a gas station to a pizza place, but having studiously ignored the existence of the town since I happily left it twenty-odd years ago, I couldn’t tell you, or care, what may be in those two positions now. What is, or for that matter what is not there isn’t of particular note anyway.
I used to walk this stretch of road for hours some nights when I couldn’t sleep. I would walk twenty, twenty-five times before fatigue, boredom, or usually, a lack of tobacco products, made me go to wherever it was that I was sleeping that night. I memorized every little nook and cranny of that street. From where I would buy weed by the VFW to where I would sell the weed behind the K&K. Most of my good friends lived on that particular stretch of road and, if they saw me walking and were so inclined, they would occasionally join me on my circuit tither and hither.
It was a pointless thing to do, but when you live in a pointless place, I suppose it is just what you are supposed to do until you get to those hours of the day that you get to do the things that have a point and a purpose. I never really saw it as exercise either, I would stop every few feet to do whatever, plus smoking probably didn’t help my aerobic activity to be sure. No, it was a time killer, pure and simple.
When Naomi and I lived in the Port we would do something similar. Walking down Main St. to Ridge Rd., down Ridge to Redman Rd., down Redman to 4th Section, then into the driveway of Viking and home to my sisters place at first, and then when we could get the little dude watched, back to our place in the same complex.
On and on really. In Medicine Lodge I would walk across the fields, in Sainte-Thérèse I would walk down to the train station, even here in the delight sub-ghetto I walk own and do a three or four-mile loop when I need to think and get the fuck out of these four walls for a few minutes and there is no other alternative because it is always two in the morning when this urge hits me at full bore.
Sometimes you just need to leave and walk away from the world for a while and maybe while you are gone the world will reshuffle itself just enough for it to make sense to you when you come back because no matter how much you want to, you have to come back.
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