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Saturday, February 19, 2011

walking at night

My feet felt like lead statues after my eight hour shift at the inn.  It was a night of constant refilling drinks and special orders like...

I want this salad...

but I don't want croutons...

and does your soup of the day have gluten because I'm intolerant...?

and may I have a side of oil and vinegar, with no dressing...?

and can you get me two high chairs for my sloppy children...?

and I'll be sure to tip you ten percent of my bill after leaving the world's biggest mess for you to clean.

But the sky was so clear and the stars were so bright that a midnight walk was definitely in order.

I texted my neighbor: Doing my paperwork and then heading home.  Wanna walk? He replied: Let's go.
And so we went. 

Our usual route is just a couple of loops around the neighborhood.  But the past couple of days we've taken a trail across the street that leads to a pretty large lake.  We've never gone through after dark. 

My friend stopped. 

We were in the middle of a game, fighting over who gets to kick the pine cones that have fallen in the middle of the sidewalk.  Stupid, I know, but most of our outings escalate into some sort of competition. 

He looked at me and then looked at the woods.  Next thing I knew we were walking down the path leading to the lake.

It was so quiet that even the tinniest snap of a twig beneath my feet made a crunch as loud as the cymbals in Sousa's march.  He warned me to be very quiet and to match his pace when we walked.

I couldn't clearly see his face, but I could tell he was annoyed.  He said, "Brett!  Heel to toe." 

"I am! I am!" I said.  Then after a few uniform paces, there was inevitable snap beneath my feet. 

He told me how important it was to stop and listen.  To make sure there wasn't something or someone following us.  He's so paranoid about things like that, but for good reason.  Let us not forget the fox incident that happened the first night we met.

We heard the sound of rustling in the leaves, and he had me so high strung that I nearly ripped his arm off, I grabbed it so quickly.  He just smiled and stood patiently with me for a moment.

And after a long night of running around the restaurant, and taking care of other people's needs, I was taken care of.  Someone cared about my protection.  Someone worried about the surroundings so that I could enjoy myself. 

Then, in the distance, we saw two deer. 

They left as quickly as they had come.  And before long, we did the same and began the trek back to our homes for the evening.

Happy Saturday!


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