I was recently working on a play with several people I had never met before, and I enjoyed getting to know a fellow named Tony. After a couple of weeks of working together, Tony told me that the first time he saw me at rehearsal he thought he knew me from somewhere, but he couldn't figure out why. I had no idea.
"Well, last night," he says, "my wife saw you and knew right away who you were." And I almost said it with him, "You're That Guy Who Walks."
Strangers have stopped me in the grocery store and exclaimed that I was That Guy Who Walks. This must be what it feels like to be a celebrity. "Why, yes," I say with a smile, "Yes, I do." And then they like to tell me where they saw me walking. "Yes, yes, that's true. I do walk there."
People I know tell me that their friends only figure out who I am when they tell them I'm That Guy Who Walks. Sometimes they add the word "everywhere" or the phrase "all the time," but that's hyperbole. I mostly walk to and from work, and I walk the dog to the park. According to my iPhone, that's between six and seven miles a day. And not when it's raining.
This phenomenon, is it a small town thing? A southern Indiana thing? Where the car culture is alive and well? (And trucks. Got to include trucks.) I've been to New York and people there walk all the time. Here, people drive to a location four blocks away, search all over for a place to park, and I've arrived on foot ten minutes before them. I'm not a health nut, just practical.
I used to get in a lot of trouble when I was in elementary school for being tardy. Starting in kindergarten, I walked about a half mile each way twice a day (we came home for lunch). I was a straggler, a daydreamer, someone who lost track of time in favor of interesting cracks in the sidewalk or the stories playing in my head. My report card came home every six weeks with a dozen tardies. I liked school, I just lost track of time on the walk.
Today I walk at a brisk pace and find it difficult to walk with others who all seem to go so slowly. I listen to podcasts so you have to get my attention if you want to wave or talk. I'm happy to do either, though. We can talk in this forum now, too (assuming you're being friendly and all.)
Unlike my walking, I have no idea where I'm going with this blog, but if you want to join me, you're more than welcome. I'll tell you what comes up on my walks and what I've been thinking about. Or daydreaming about. I still do that.
My name is Eric and I'm That Guy Who Walks.