Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Where The Sidewalk Ends

Okay, okay. I stole my title from the fabulous Shel Silverstein. Who can blame me? It's a thought-provoking phrase. Well, it's the title to a collection of his poetry that my grandma has, and I've always been fascinated by the cover. It depicts a cute little person peeking over the edge of a slab of sidewalk that protrudes into the center of the book but drops off leaving empty space below it. Like the sidewalk would ever just end... no. We have made the world too normal. Every sidewalk ends with a curb and a street to step onto when you are finished with it. If a sidewalk like that ever managed to exist, somebody would come by with gallons of tar and a truck of concrete, and fix it up to look exactly like every other sidewalk in this wretchedly normalistic world.
Oh God, I got carried away again. Sorry about that.
Well, today I found a place where the sidewalk ends. I was walking Bruceter, and decided to venture into an unfamiliar neighborhood. So. I walked... and walked... down a long stretch of sidewalk. It appeared to be the left border of the neighborhood, with streets that would lead you in deeper to the heart of the 'hood. But however alluring this extraordinarily ordinary neighborhood looked, I chose to stay on this strip of sidewalk. I would walk until I saw the end of it, then turn around and wander. It stayed straight, but had a curve at the very end to create a makeshift, half-done court for the last house of the row. Did I mention there was no sidewalk on the other side? Just street and gutter. Strange... ish. Anyway, there was a car parked at the periphery of the concrete and I couldn't quite see where it ended. I walked to the end, and it, well, ended. Just ended, ran right into the dusty dirt. A sidewalk with no curb? Bizarre!! (heavy sarcasm...) In normal cases, it would curve around to create a court and run back out on the other side of the road. But not here. I had found a place where the sidewalk ends...

So, it wasn't that weird, but I needed something to write about. Heh. Oh yeah, more weirdness. I began walking back, not really paying attention or anything. I had been sort of disconnected the whole day, but I guess I was more off than I thought. I was walking, me and my feet, my feet and the sidewalk. Until I suddenly realized I had drifted off into the middle of the street. And there was a truck coming at me, and it hit me, and I almost got out of the way, but not quite, and suddenly I was on the ground and everything hurt, and the driver was sweating and my mother was crying and now I am writing from my hospital bed.
No, just kidding. It was a quiet road in the corner of the neighborhood, and I was just sort of drifting along in a haze. But then, I don't know how, but my brain told me that I was in the middle of the street. How does one manage to travel from the sidewalk to the road without even realizing it? When I got back to my grandma's, she gave me a chocolate-covered cherry and that helped to clear my head.


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