Monday, August 13, 2018

Dusk walk

I step outside to Dilorenzo Avenue. I put on my headphones. I take one step, then another step, then another. This is the only time in the day that belongs to me, in which my body is my own body, my thoughts are my own thoughts, my breath is my own breath. No little hands on my thighs, legs, arms, head. No complaining voices, no requests from me, no demands. No other voices but that of my own breathing and the music I choose. Brief though it is, it is complete and delicious freedom. It is needed as much as air and water. I breathe the freedom of my solitude in.
I walk in front of empty-looking houses, not a sign of life inside or outside. My steps get quicker, and soon I fall into a nice, comfortable rhythm. It is comforting and grounding to feel my feet on the pavement, to feel my heart beat ever so faster, to get real sunlight in my eyes, to inhale the evening as it approaches.
I look up at the sky and see multiple layers of clouds, almost sagging towards the ground. With the certainty of knowing the sun will rise the next morning, I know it’s going to rain. I look up and breathe in the slightly moist air, and quicken my pace even more, just to see if I can beat the rain to the end of my walk.
Occasionally I run into people who are walking their dogs and runners. They look at me as if I am an alien, just walking with my headphones, and not engaging in either of these activities. It is the unwritten rule of the suburbs that if you are not walking pets or engaging in cardio activities, you are not supposed to be on the pavement. I smile at each and every one of them and continue my walk. I feel like I am doing something illegal, and that feeling of stretching societal boundaries and norms is pretty delectable indeed.
I reach the end point of my loop, then start my return arc via Naper Boulevard. Just as I am passing by the pond, the wind picks up. It is the kind of “before the rain” wind that reminds one that one is alive. It plays with my hair, my clothes, the cable of my headphones. It feels nice to be able to be outside and feel such a wind. The wind is like a promise made by the rain that it is, indeed, following closely behind.
I come back to my house via Arlington Avenue, and look at the windows. No lights, the kids must be in their beds. Just as I step inside, smelling like the evening and the wind and the street, I hear thunder roaring across the sky. I come in to my bedroom and watch as a torrential shower pours suddenly, and thinking that I escaped it by a mere minute, I feel weirdly peaceful and calm. I make some tea, sit by the window, crack it open a bit, and inhale the unique smell of water kissing the earth. I am home.

Esra, August 2018