to the lady around the corner
November 1st, 2013 by alexfaye

I first noticed you maybe two years ago?  Maybe more?  You were so tall, so substantial — so wide!, and when you walked you swayed and swung your arms, sort of stiffly, like a metronome.  There, in the early morning light, as I passed you in the car on my way to work — I saw you that were wearing earbuds, striding down the street to your own private and steady rhythm, in the dark, in the rain, in the early morning — every day.

I saw you every day.

Soon, you were scenery.  I’d note your presence, but you did not occupy my thoughts.  I’d think, “Oh gosh, there’s that lady with the big butt.  Good for her.”

When I see you now, you are still tall, of course, but so slender,  still swaying when you walk but lately mostly running — a testament to patience, persistence and discipline.  Now when I pass you, I reflect on the lessons in your gait.

I often have thought of writing you a letter to tell you this  — I saw you one time, talking on your cell phone and getting out of a car on a driveway, so I’m pretty sure you live right around the corner from me — no more than 10 houses away.  But then I think, “she walks through the neighborhood with such a light step, with no self-consciousness about her.  What if she starts wondering who is watching her, who is writing her letters?  What if she starts peering into passing cars?” and I stop.  I’m sure I’d get the creeps if I thought my daily activities were being observed by a stranger and noted, no matter how benign the intentions.

So I’ll write to you here, on my blog.  You’ll never see it, most likely.  It’s for the best.

But you are one of my heroes, and every day that I pass you, I send out a little puff of love and respect.  Maybe you’ll run through the cloud I send, or maybe its particles will dissipate and float around, and a stray few will eventually settle on the top of your head and shoulders.  I hope so.  I hope when I drive by, you don’t know why, but suddenly your pace feels easy, and a renewed energy floods through you.



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