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10/30/09

a short story about a thing I do

I like rituals and habits.

Last night I took the requisite night-time walk around the neighborhood. I do not consider myself a resident of any particular place until I have accomplished a night-time stroll. I believe this tradition started when I was very little, and my Dad would come get me out of bed and take me on long walks around the neighborhood. Sometimes we would even drive to other neighborhoods, just to see what they looked like at night. One time, after a huge snow-storm, we bundled up in all our snow clothes and walked through the cemetery by our house. I remember that the moon was very bright, and the snow glittered, and that we kept bumping into gravestones and memorial benches buried under the snow.

My mother knew nothing of this tradition until 3rd grade, when I wrote a short story about waiting for my mom to go to bed so my dad could come take me on a walk. I titled my short story "Moonshadow,"* and at the time, my mother was understandably annoyed with my father, having discovered both the cause of my early-morning grumpiness, and of my habit for my falling asleep in class.

Now I live in my own neighborhood, and take walks by myself. My father searched in vain for a replacement co-walker, but failed. My siblings are an unreliable bunch. ** Sometimes, we call each other around 11:00 pm and meet each other for walks. Sometimes, I will be walking, and a car will pull up next to me. It always freaks me out until I realize it is my Dad.



THE END.

























*After the Cat Stevens song, of course.

**Except for now, my youngest brother Clark goes with him. I think Clark, being the most intelligent of my siblings, realized that there may be a direct correlation between money left to children in wills, and the regularity that said children participate in walks. So well played, Clark. Your motives might not be pure, but your ambition is admirable.


























I am pleased to report that our neighborhood seems very night-time walk friendly.

10 comments:

Lauren Palmer said...

Sigh. It's moments like these that I wish that my neighborhood didn't have signs that say don't be here after dark. Because it's just that sketchy.

Plain Jame said...

I am really close to my dad still too. When we go down there to visit them, I always hang out with my dad alone a bit. Like the grocery store, or a trip to Golden Spoon. I always like to see other girls that are close to their dads in a non-too-creepy kind of way.

Lindsey said...

Steph. You are such a wonderful writer. Thanks for inspiring me.

Chloe said...

hey..if I go on walks with him late at night once a year, do I get any money? ;)

Tammy said...

I love that sometimes you meet up with your dad for walks. I wish I lived close to my dad.

Little Fish said...

"Sometimes, we call each other around 11:00 pm and meet each other for walks"- so freaking adorable, I can barely stand it!

Flo said...

The more you write about your father, the more clearly we can see he's a great man and a loving father.
Loved your column.

Katie said...

Another reason we are creepily similar. Except I went on those late night walks with my best friend. Who now lives 3ish states away. *sigh*

I'm surprised I never ran into you. Except that I don't walk in the snow. Too cold.

Terresa said...

I can't see any picts on your blog posts, arghhh! Is that normal? Or are newbies not privy to the picts? :)

Curious, wondering...

Stephanie said...

hey terresa, thanks for stopping by. never fear, you don't see pictures because i hardly ever post them. i just leave random blank spaces where there would be pictures. i don't know why i do that, actually.

if you browse the archives enough, though, eventually you will find some photos. i think i even posted a wedding one.