Watch Out For That Tree!

I went out for my walk last night, the one I take a) if I don't have to stop at the Wal-Mart Supercenter to pick something up, or b) if I have to cook because there aren't any more leftovers, or c) if it's not too cold or windy or raining outside. Carrying my handheld recorder (why just walk when I can walk and compose a scene or two for my book?) I walk out to the main road (less than ¼ mile) and around a large circle, upon which used to sit a shopping mall, which has been razed. The land, except for a lovely fountain and name sign in two corners and a large Retail Parcels Available sign on the third, sits empty, and the sidewalks have been freshly laid. (I understand the city is trying to override the law that prohibits casinos from being built inland, but I digress.) A good mile-plus in diameter, it's a favorite spot for people to stroll, by themselves, with a friend, with their spouses, with their dogs, with their kids, and sometimes the whole family, Grandma and Grandpa included.

But last night I saw something I'd never seen before. A woman was walking at a steady pace while simultaneously reading a book. No shit, the sistah was reading.

Since I get nauseated if I try to focus on the printed word while in motion (unless I'm on a plane or a train), I found this fascinating in itself. I was also amazed that she could keep up that pace without falling on her face or at least stepping in dog poop. The fairly new, smooth sidewalk probably helped with the former, but there's no saving a person from the latter, especially considering that most of the canines around here are small-statured with small poop. I passed her twice, and because she had passed the turnoff to the residential area she was clearly walking more than one length of the circle (if sistah's tryin' to lose weight and can keep this up, I predict she'll drop 40 pounds in no time.) Both times her eyes were glued to her book, not missing a step as she said hello.

I wanted to kick myself for not having my business cards with me, but in hindsight I'm not sure she would have been willing to stop long enough to accept one from me!