THIS IS NOT HATE MAIL.
I used to walk to work everyday. It was a beautiful time in my life, only compromised by the nerve-racking days when I was obliged to buy new Chuck Taylor’s. It might sound odd, but within in a week of buying work shoes, I was sure to be relieved my post. That aside, I was indeed walking to work when I found out that I was the new owner of an old Dodge Avenger. Yes, that’s right, a good old fashioned, made with pride American automobile. I am love with this jalopy and have even named it – Bruce Willis Lee. I think you know where this is going, but indulge me. For a week or so, it was business as usual; walking to work and keeping in concert with my trendy green lifestyle. Then I was purposefully running late, telling myself I lived in a bad part of town and shouldn’t walk home at night, having random arthritis of the foot, this and that. Total crap.
I’m not sure how it happened (perhaps I was being punished by the walking gods for switching over to the dark side, or maybe the axiom of shoe-buying leading to termination goes for car-buying as well), but I was fired. With avengeance. I trust you know how pricey gas is these days.
And here I am, driving on the reserve tank, and the little orange gas light is mocking me. Once parked, I have a reverent moment of silence with Bruce Willis Lee, knowing we won’t be hitting the open road any time soon. The silliest thing is that I actually thought I was marooned. Six cylinders had spoiled me to the point of paralysis. I sat on my bed for an hour, biting my fingernails, thinking how badly I needed milk. Should I call someone? No, too pathetic. What would I even say? “Yes hello, it’s Caitlin. Would you be so kind as to come pick me up so I can get milk?”
When I finally came out of my car and driver coma, church bells went off in my head. I laced up my high tops and set off on my one and a half mile journey, once again a proud pedestrian. As I cross the street, a woman in a white truck attempting a left turn honks at me. I’m flabbergasted, but I pick up my pace. Then from the opposite side of the street comes a yell – “Pedestrians have the right of way!” – and I slow to a saunter.
It is with complete sincerity that I thank you for those oh so high gas prices, without which I might have never reconsidered the joys of walking. My legs look phenomenal, and when complimented on them, I’m always sure to say, “Oh these? These are Exxon-Mobil legs”.