Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re me, and you’re in a really bad mood.
It happens sometimes, even when things are going stupendously well.
Sometimes, the weather is just crummy. Sometimes, you get stuck doing tax-related stuff on a day when you planned to devour a sumptuous book. Sometimes, you’re sitting at your writing desk, pen in one hand, notebook under the other, waiting impatiently for brilliant solutions to plot problems to land in your brain. Sometimes, you start thinking that if you have to stare at the page for just one more second, you’ll pick it up and tear it into a million little pieces.
(I’ll let you guess which one was going on today.)
You decide that there’s only one way to cheer yourself up. You put on your sneakers, track down your iPod, and go for a walk.
You plan to go to this really pretty – ahem, soothing – place, where you’ve been before.
But because it’s maybe five minutes away from your front door, you decide to go the long way.
Turns out that the long way turns into the longer way, because you forgot that you don’t have sidewalk on your side of the highway. You cross the highway.
It’s a nice one (a.k.a. Providence Road), but there are so many cars. They’re so loud. Almost louder than your iPod blasting through your earphones.
You turn away from the cars, and…
Obviously, you only have one choice.
Maybe you’ve even got Robert Frost beating out a rhythm in your mind: “Two roads diverged in a wood, but I–/I took the one less traveled by…” (Maybe there’s even an English major voice telling your mind how cliché that is, and your mind tells that English major voice to mind its own business.)
…but oops, the guys who are building back here (and probably opened the gate) are off their lunch break. They’ve gotten back to work. Maybe it’s better to keep walking and not interfere with construction progress (ahem, and not walk by a supervisor who might tell me off for trespassing).
Carry on, then. Wow, there’s a huge field back here. A little muddy though. And look! a creek!
Uh, how do you get over the creek? There’s no bridge…
You cross the creek the old fashioned way – kicking the roads to scare away potential snakes and clambering down. You smear your sneakers with mud in the dry(ish) creek bed, and you start climbing back up.
And is that a random chimney on the bank? Well, that’s not surreal at all.
Okay, you cross another field. You can see another road through the trees. You walk a little closer, and you realize you’ve arrived in someone’s backyard. You can’t figure out how to reach that road without walking down this house’s driveway.
So…you sneak past the house and down the driveway, breaking into a trot in case anyone is home.
You have no idea where you are. Well, the name of the street seems a little familiar, but less than a mile from your house, you’re kinda lost.
This is the best walk ever!!!
This is a really nice street too.
Hey, that house looks just like a castle.
The events of this post are based on a true story. I really did get a little bit of writer’s block and go for a walk, which helped me get unstuck. I recommend taking a break for anyone who feels like they’re (metaphorically) ramming their head against a wall. (Well, literally too.)
In case you were worried, I found myself in front of Queens University, which is a couple miles from my house, and I knew exactly how to get home.
I took the scenic route, happily plotting all the way…