Saturday, August 16, 2008

Traversing Crowds

I love traversing large crowds of people at a wickedly fast pace; it proves I can do differential calculus in my head. Sleep Deprivation Ninja is pretty good with numbers. I'm dodging people like they are sloths and I am the speed of sound. Everything slows for me. I'm tripping out on speed without tripping up. No drugs here. No need. I've got ecstasy in my soul, uppers in my mind and downers in my shoes. I'm balanced like a rocket, ready to burst through the atmosphere--and I would too, if not for the anchors at my base, the gravity all around me, all of it setting me even, keeping me aligned. The world is so balanced and it holds me in, pulls me up, keeps me down but stretches me out and I love it.

When I was in high school, I had a funny walk. At least, people who didn't know me thought it was funny. It had a skip, a jump, a twist, an outstretched leg tapping down as the one behind slides in to meet the other. My knees would bend and my shoulders would sway, torso falling into line like I'm on the hunt, ready to evade and tackle. My hips would swivel like I was salsa dancing. I moved as fast as possible, fluidly efficient but dangerous. The hordes of students passing by me would take up the halls like a thousand geese shoved through a blocked path, aimlessly trying to escape. I would glide between them, stepping in at the moment when one foot-sized opening became exposed, then the next and again, until I reached my destination. Every other step would have to be a skip to take advantage of the openings that wedged themselves tightly between people. I would squeeze in sideways and tilt to shoot into the next position.

When not in large crowds, I would simple walk extremely fast. Every other step would be a skip, enabling a more efficient use of the momentum built up in my legs. Resisting the skip would mean wasting energy. Like a hybrid car, I was going to get every last bit of that momentum, nothing wasted in exerting more force than necessary.

This effectively made me look like a pansy.

Of course, those who knew me saw the method in the madness, the efficiency and control of a budding ninja on the prowl.

Others just saw a misguided looking nerd skipping and prancing like a fairy.

I'm not sure when or why I stopped walking that way. Perhaps I fell victim to the general malaise, which virally infects the working class, driving them to cynicism and bitterness. Perhaps I had become more efficient by restraining my force of will. But maybe I just slowed down to join in with the geese.

Today, I saw someone on the street, some stranger to me. He was walking my old walk, skipping and sliding through the crowds of business people; he was on the prowl.

I could tell from watching his surrounding obstacles that nobody thought he was a dork. He was a badass.

So, baby girl, don't ever give up your efficient calculations as if they are unworthy of the status quo. If they work for you, go ahead and look foolish. And if you only abandon them for new and different ways of living, keep those tricks in your repertoire. Whatever it is, it's bound to become fashionable and everyone will be doing it in the future.


Loralee Choate said...

I feel blessed if I can get from one end of the room to the other without knocking someone over or tripping over thin air.

I am a total klutz.

steenky bee said...

I'm guessing you didn't have a stroller with you. People treat you like your invisible. By the end of our recent Disneyland trip, I took great joy at clipping people in the heels that wouldn't yield for me and the double stroller.

Also, my dentist, too, had ecstasy in his soul. But he tried to pass it on and now he's in for 5 to 10 minimum.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I've got something for you over on my blog.