saturday stride/

When the only place you can go is the park. Shot on Kodak Portra 400 with Konica C35.


Another restless Saturday morning. Chores long done. I flee the flat; walk down C Ave heading to the park for the nth time. It’s cold, but not unbearably so. Just enough to make a jacket comfortable. The sound of approaching sirens, draws my attention away from the familiar frontgardenscapes of neighbours. At the junction ahead, two ambulances fly in opposite directions. Blinking blue lights like watery eyes in a sandstorm. Autumn detritus swirling around. On a corner outside the barber’s a man stands in the middle of the pavement staring at his phone, oblivious. I brush the curb to get around him, then walk along the busy high road. People coming out of the local station join the hands-in-pockets autumn foot traffic. At the next junction, the wait for the lights to change make me feel unbearably observed, standing at the nose of the nearest car in a row of three. Then three more and three more and so on. Like a drive-in to watch a pedestrian bum. [No one cares] Once across, I round the corner and watch my tartan jacket weave across the mirrors in the windows of the tile shop. I keep going and spot two guys on a roof, then spot their ladder; side step it. At the entrance to the park, a kid is taking some muscle-up gear out of his sports bag. White birds that look like small gulls, and probably are small gulls speckle the muddy green grass. The trees look barer than a few days ago. I decide to head towards the playground, thinking I might go on the swings if there are no kids around, but I’m slowed down by an unexpected sight. A new bike track has sprung up, as if overnight, like earthworms rising from the ground after the rain. I forget about the playground, and walk around the fencing that still surrounds it. It will never look this new again. So cool. I’m torn between heading to town on foot, or heading back home. Opt for home, because I don’t feel like dodging people on packed sidewalks. Really, I feel like I could keep walking and walking and walking. Catching that weird stride where you feel every joyous step. Rare moments of feeling energised, untouchable, free. The joy of a walk around the block.      

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