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Ring in the New… Walk

July 3, 2012

It is HOT in Chicago. I’ve been lucky enough to make it out the door a few times for some very early, slightly-less stifling runs, but my new, non-courageous yet certainly reasonable goal is to walk at least two miles a day. And in a style that hardly falls in line with my family’s strict, generally unreasonable German/Scottish/Swiss work ethic, they are sloooow miles.

Sometimes I walk to the train station, take the train downtown, and study at the Loyola Law Library. Other days I walk through our neighborhood, peering up at the grey undersides of clattering leaves and further to the bubble-shaped bodies of airplanes shimmering overhead. I am confused by airplanes in the heat. I know they’re skimming off to O’Hare; yet as I watch, with fogged sunglasses and hands on hips, they hang still and silent in the long yellow sky.

It’s the kind of  hot where your self-righteous loathing of neighbors who actively- and in the middle of the afternoon!- water all of the sidewalk (and a thin sliver of grass) dissipates, and you go so far as to walk across the street to stand for a minute under the heavy, sparkling drops. It’s the kind of hot where beer sounds like a refreshing breakfast choice, and when the only and best dinner option is a bag of tortilla chips in a cold bathtub. [I still haven’t had beer for breakfast. But summer’s not over yet, either.] And it’s the kind of hot that makes the wedding we shared in under a grove of trees along a river in Iowa this past Sunday simple, and true. It was a wedding where women and men fanned themselves in the shadowy light, and where the groom’s brother slapped a hand towel on the groom’s bald head mid-wedding to dry him off, and where gestures like this mingled with the laughter and sweat and footsteps of Iowans and Trinidadians and farmers from the Northwest and skaters from Oakland as they circled together in the shadish late into the sweet, muggy air of night.

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