Sunday, October 02, 2005

Waving My Arms Wildly

Because I am planning on moving to Detroit, I want to get out and walk in the woods and pastoral countryside around Baldwinsville, where I live now, as often as possible before I lose it. But I had a rude reminder today that life in the countryside isn't all peaches and scenic vistas. Fall is supposed to be nearly insect-free. I look forward to the relief of that freedom with pleasure. But whether it's global warming or simply a freak year, the bugs this fall are worse than ever.

I walked today out at "Scott's Place," one of the many access points to Three Rivers Game-Management Area. It was a beautiful day, clear blue sky, warm, and slightly muggy. And, I discovered, buggy. There were clouds of mosquitoes and in the sixty-two minutes I was out there walking, they got denser and denser. They were tiny, and had sharp proboscises. Ouch. Every time they bit, it hurt! And they bit a lot! I ended up running (okay, well, I'm not much of a runner--jooging--staggering--) back to the car as fast as I could.

I remembered how I used to walk in the city to avoid the country, the very country I long for now. When I worked at the museum, I often walked during lunch to avoid walking where it was buggy—at (or near) home. But that was summer, not October! And it was interesting there, sort of, more so than the manicured streets of Detroit. Suburban Detroit. People in suburban Detroit work very hard to look as much as possible like their neighbors. They try to look like they're rich, or as close as possible to it, as if being rich were the be-all and end-all of life. It's distressing!

On Marcellus Street, no one tried to look rich. Where I walked, street people warned me it wasn't safe for a white woman to walk alone there. But I did anyway, for years. There were drug deals going down on the corners and crack heads hanging out in the doorways. And prostitutes. Half- (or fully-) naked children and old people who looked out of their doorways looking puzzled and frightened. It wasn't boring. And there weren't any mosquitoes.

I'd take the mosquitoes, though, over mall-walking. I tried that once. What a bore. All those stores and more people trying to look rich or punk. Consuming wildly. The air-conditioned and filtered air, tasting like stale grease and the insides of other people's lungs. UGH! I really hate malls.

In Detroit, one of the favorite walks I ever took was down by Eastern Market, where we met Dale, a street person who lived in an abandoned building. My walk today among the mosquitoes on Scott's Place was not my favorite walk in Baldwinsville!! I guess I'm just weird. (You probably already knew that, though!)

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

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