On Coping


I was walking into the wind on the way home, and my hat wasn’t warm enough so I had to walk faster. On the way there I listened to the Velvet Underground and Nick Drake and started to feel something for the first time in a few days. It felt good to cry and be ugly, and to be comforted by my neighbourhood and the knowledge that if anyone were to see me they’d just assume I was cold.

It was my walk, my street. The weak side of me thought/hoped maybe I’d run into you - it was your street now too. And then what would I say? I’d have to defend myself: “Of course I wasn’t hoping to run into you. This is my walk! This is just what I do, and I was here first!” It didn’t happen though, which is for the best, though I was foolishly disappointed.

Courtesy:  India K

Courtesy: India K

I thought about the difference between love and need and loneliness. I think at the moment I was feeling all three but passing it off as just love, and I didn’t know what was motivating me. I thought about the individual versus the unit - improving the individual to come back to the unit, stronger. Does that work? At what point do you just let go, I wondered.

At one point I crossed the street in front of a car that had been idling at the stop sign for awhile. The driver was on the phone, and I worried she’d be distracted and hit the gas just as I crossed. I walked slowly and teetered to the left, and as I walked through the headlight glow I faltered. I was more stoned than I’d thought.

The walk was a good idea. It didn’t clear my head, as I’d hoped, but it helped me feel my feelings more clearly. Which is a start.