I sometimes just laze and think of sidewalks I have been on. New York City, Istanbul, Paris and Saigon. Manhasset and Genesee. Vail and Phoenix. There is a lot of my shoe leather hanging out there. A lot of my soul.
You don’t have to tell anyone who you are. You cross social climbs and no one cares. Rich. Poor. No Dun and Bradstreets here. You can dress with abandon. You can play the role. You can take a chance. There are no judges.
In the barrios and ghettos they are turf that’s defended. There is bloodshed over so little. But to them it is so much. So often, you can only live if you escape. But to leave is to die in a totally different way.
They are a tour bus without wheels. You can breeze by with casual glances. You can stop and study each storefront. You can go in to secret troves of all types of treasure. Can I help you? No, just bumming around.
They are really the aortas, veins and arteries of our cities and towns. They connect young with old. They take you places. They define your space. They tell a magnificent story of now and then. They fight demolition. They welcome the modern.
As I plod through endless corridors, I meet friends almost forgotten. I meet new ones who are going my way or maybe just stopped to rest. I share joy and heartbreak. I soothe the bearer of a tale of woe. I smile at the pretty girls and even a few smile back. Isn’t that old geezer cute? Dream on TTG.
The saddest is the homeless who now reside on corners and steam vents. The sidewalk is their dresser or den. They arrange and rearrange their stuff trying to make some sense of life. Cops move them on, only to have them sneak back so they don’t lose their prime begging location. How did it come to this?
Oh, if only these sidewalks could talk ? They would tell of power and fame. Do you know who walked here every day? They would be a witness to a crime scene. A drug bust. A prostitute’s store front. Yet like the mountains and rivers, they bear witness and want to tell mankind of the folly so oft repeated. Don’t worry, we wouldn’t listen anyway.
Well I have to go. A new adventure awaits. I think I will pack an egg salad sandwich. Maybe splurge on an oatmeal raisin cookie. What the heck. I will walk down the Cherry Creek, carrying me from suburbia to the shiny spires of downtown.
I am aiming for the Confluence Park where the Creek and the Platte River meet. There’s a little sandy beach. It’s a vacation and I don’t have to pay for gas or reserve my seat. There will be wonderfully different people of all ages and races. The swirling vortexes will set me off on a totally different type of pondering. I will get back to you then.
Ted The Great
Factoid: There are 2700 miles of sidewalks in Denver. I have a long way to go.
A project for you to propose to the city of Denver’s town council: http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/currentevents/electricity_sidewalk.htm