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The Right To Walk

Disparate thoughts float around my mind and I can’t catch a single one of them. This music is haunting me, reminding me of a past that is long forgotten yet somehow present, not ethereal but real, causing me to relive those moments a year ago, eroding at my sanity.

It all feels so familiar, and we’ve all certainly been here before, haven’t we? The promise of things turning around for the better this time. Spring certainly has cast it spell on me.

I feel something welling up inside of me so pleasantly but when it spills out it’s hot and angry.

That ain’t right.

My body aches for a long walk but when I cave in the air suffocates me. The cars glare at me and the roads are equally as unfriendly. The few plants that manage to live on the sliver of land between the pavement release their misery in a cloud of bramble and ire and along with the pollution, the very environment seems to be spitting at me.

The humidity starts to bend me to its will, curling my hair and condensing on my skin – an unnecessary but meaningful friction. Another sign that I shouldn’t be here. A homeless man yells into the distance, echoing the distant sirens that causes so much frustration to these cars buzzing merrily on their way to the next light.

I feel their anger simmering. I pray that no one has died.

The man sees me again and fear wells up inside of me but he nods in agreement, affirming that I should be afraid – misery loves company.

I skirt the issue entirely and try to walk around the trash bin obscuring my path – back into the grass so displeased with my trespass. I cough and beg its pardon, but have avoided the crisis.

Emptied like an estuary onto a parking lot, the asphalt island of my destination, and the cars instantly prickle at my presence. Coyly avoiding me but making a show of their swerving. Out of spite it seems they accelerate their engines. How dare I encroach on their sacred territory?

The entrance looms ahead of me, but I don’t want to go in just yet, trying to soak in the last of the pallid daylight. The employees in the store have eyebrows that extend to the ceiling of their pedestrian sanctuary. What sane reason would any person have for staying outside? I feel their suspicions like breath on the back of my neck.

I survey the scene before me – black ground roiling hot and I’m reminded of a game I used to play as a child – desperately afraid to touch the ground for it is lava and it might consume me. I feel a similar sense of kinship to that game now, only I realize that asphalt is worse.

Lava Burning Road


Photo Credits: Parking Lot Reflections by Don Taylor
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