Wednesday 4 July 2012

Quite Unbalanced

Do you remember what it was like walking to school?
It always seemed to take such a long time. You would have to wait for your buddies and sometimes go a couple of blocks out of your way to meet them. You would talk about the TV that you had watched the night before or the homework that didn’t get done. You would be reminded of the math test that had completely slipped your mind. The walk wouldn’t seem long enough after that.

That was high school and there were things, important things happening in your life. I am remembering the grade school days and just how carefree I was. It is funny that I don’t remember even one morning. I don’t remember my Mom and Dad trying to wake me up,  I don’t remember getting dressed, I don’t remember breakfast and I don’t remember getting tossed out of the house early enough to make it to school. That is pretty strange because I should have the odd memory. Now I remember, mornings were generally pretty unpleasant. Mom and/or Dad would get mad at my brother or me (usually Steve) and there would be threats and generally unpleasantness. I guess that is why I don’t really remember.
I always loved the walk to school. I would have to avoid the cracks in order to protect mom’s back. Sometimes there would be puddles and of course there would be worms either drowned or drowning. It didn’t make a lot of sense that a worm could drown. They don’t seem to have mouths or noses or really any way at all to suck in air. Okay, I just read far more about the worm than I should have. Seems they have two pair of testicles and the females have two to four seminal vesicles in which they store and release sperm…somehow. They also do have a mouth which is covered by a flap of some kind. I assume it has nothing to do with the testicles and vesicles. That sound like something the Dickee Dee truck would have on ice.
Remember trying to balance on the curb and see just how far you could walk without falling? I don’t think I ever made it all the way to school, but that was more a result of bigger kids seeing what you were doing and then pushing you off the curb. There were train tracks not too far from where I lived and my buddies and I spent countless hours trying not to fall off of the tracks. I got so good that to fall off was quite a surprise. When the tracks ceased to be a challenge, it was only a drop of four inches after all, we looked for other challenges. We didn’t have far to look.
The houses that backed onto the tracks all had wooden fencing that was topped with a two by four. Believe it or not, the hardest part was getting up on the fence initially. Once up, you could walk almost indefinitely, well, until you came to a part of the fence that was rotten or just poorly built. I think we all had near death experiences walking along that fence. I was back a few years ago and it seems that the fences are built to keep people off of the tracks, not to entertain young boys. I suppose it is for the best.
Today I walked on the curbs coming back from my physiotherapist. I was careful to avoid the cracks, even though mom has long since passed. I walked all the way home, but the thing that I was more concerned about wasn’t falling, it was being seen. It is cute to see an eight year walking along the curb, but a sixty year old just looks like he has been drinking a little early stumbling along the side of the road. It wasn’t as easy as I had remembered; there were cars that parked too close and grass that grew right over the curb in places.

The eight year old Ken had balance and poise, the sixty year old Ken is really quite unbalanced.

1 comment:

  1. I used to like walking on the top of the snow banks the snowplows left behind. In Winterpeg these could easly reach 4 to 6 ft high and were sometimes very slippery and you would need good balance. Good times as I remember. B