A Walk

South on Indianola, then west on Lane, and back North on High. Lane is the beginning of the OSU campus, so you walk through the houses devoted to students, past runners (their exposed legs a curious pink), past many Indian restaurants, bars, Chinese restaurants, across streets where the cars politely wait your passing.

Along the sidewalks few. Nobody will meet your gaze. The winter is lonely here, the trees mourning the skies and when the sun comes, weak light, no great joy. It seems to be thinking and only absentmindedly playing its light at us from time to time. The temperature contrasts of the winter I’d forgotten, being cold and hot in different places; the sunlessness of life. In these Midwestern skies the clouds just pause and hold.

In the twilight of the morning hours I take a bath these days. I have my dark Sumatra coffee, breakfast with sausages, English muffins, then the bath. I read for an hour there. I practice my accordion afterward.

One doesn’t get a whole lot of exercise living here. Always off in a car, if not reclining in a recliner, if not computing this or that, if not wandering in an over warm store. Winter itches, doesn’t it? But it no longer seems as static as it once was. One eats extensively here, and one seldom goes briskly for any considerable time. Weight, one sees, is a problem.

Went to a new mall. Larger, more sumptuous, more of everything; they’ve grown that too. No wonder they’re tearing down the old ones. They want it more like a gigantic living room with enormous fixtures and furniture. The scale is staggering. Around it are clustered restaurants on the grand scale too. Nowadays they make the malls have a faux neighborhood outdoors, don’t they? Restaurants with their themes.

So I went of an afternoon on the sidewalks along Indianola, Lane and High. Columbus has relatively narrow streets. Went up one smaller street, here nameless, with crooked oaks, moss mingled in the grass and close-set houses, back to scale. A neighborhood with wandering, curious, pampered cats about. Not very many birds.

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