These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

a skewed view of life

i get so used to my routine of walking here and there. so much so that i usually walk with ease-- the exceptions on my route being a parked car over a sidewalk, kids' toys or large amounts of snow barring my way.

for the most part, i get along.

but recently construction work began on maple ave., which is just east of our block. the work stretches from eighth to 16th st. right now. most of maple is not in good shape and undriveable.

while sidewalks are manageable to get through. there are pieces of machinery very close to the sidewalks and short walks leading down from the siewalks to the street have been torn out. large gaps remain.

that leaves me in a pickle. i have to check out the street very carefully before i traverse across it. i don't want to stumble into a hole created by the machines or hit some piping laid out by workers.

so far i've had to walk up one block where the street is relatively smooth. i think they do it so cars can move through it. or maybe not -- cars still go through there.

the other day after finding out i had to cross through another street, i walked over carefully, making sure i didn't hit anything. i stepped off the sidewalk gingerly and walked behind the large orange/white barricades. i thought it was good. then i felt a pang of pain drive down my legs from just below my knees. i'd run into the metal supports that keep those barricades upright. they look like something belonging to a forklift.

i never saw them coming. i had to stop there for a second. i couldn't walk. it was like hitting my funny bone.

after the initial shock wore off, i wondered if anyone saw me run into them and think, 'wow, that guy just slammed into those metal things. what a dope."

since i have no outward sign that i'm legally blind, i wonder what people think whenever things like this happen to me.

at other times when i go off to areas i'm not familiar with, i have to look around at the street signs. sometimes they're not where i think they are and sometimes i have to stare at them a long time to make sure i see them properly.

if i was an observer of myself, seeing myself through a windown in a nearby house, i'd wonder what was up with this guy out on the street. it's obvious because the sign is there.

also, on the street, if i was watching me, i'd have to wonder why i was taking long trying to cross the road.

which begs the question, why did roel cross the road? because he was roel-ing along. hahaha