the way we walked

They always walked the same way, which was, in fact, the opposite of the way I walked. The one felt strongly about walking that way. The other reported this to me when I inquired as to why they always walked that particular way. She told me that the one felt that way was far superior to the way I walked, although no reason was given that I can recall. So when I began walking with them, I of course walked their way, despite the fact of it going against my natural inclination to walk the other way. Then the one left, not long after I had begun walking with them. She went elsewhere, leaving the two of us on our own. The other and I continued walking. For the most part we continued walking the way they always used to walk, although sometimes we altered course and walked my way. It was strange, the fact of us continuing to walk the way they used to walk. Neither of us felt strongly about that way. From the very start, it had been the one who had imposed her will on the other. By the time I came along, the route was already set in stone. There was no question of whether they would ever walk my way, so I didn’t even bother suggesting it. Eventually it became second nature for me to walk their way. When exiting the door my natural inclination was now to turn left. Even later on, after the other had also gone away and I was alone again, I still found myself turning left, walking against my original inclination, which was either straight ahead or on occasion to the right, but never to the left. While walking, it would sometimes occur to me: ‘I am walking their way, her way, in fact’. She, whom I hadn’t heard from in years, continued to impose her will on me. And when I found myself walking my way, I would sometimes gloat in my mind, thinking, ‘Ha! I am no longer walking her way. I am walking my own way‘, which gave me a sense of satisfaction. This sensation felt strange, though, given that she wasn’t around, nor had she been for years, and in fact I had never felt that strongly about my way versus their way, or more specifically, her way. Naturally there were pros and cons associated with each way, and over the years I pondered at length over the merits and disadvantages of both ways. I never came to a conclusion as to which one was superior. However, after much thought, I did conclude that my occasional negative feeling toward her way originated more from an anti-authoritarian reaction to her insistence on always going that way than from a belief that my way was indeed superior. In fact, I would go so far as to say that she assumed that her way was the only way to go, that in her mind there was literally no other way to go, that my way was in fact dead to her, that it did not even exist, and that if I or the other had ever started walking my way, she would have immediately disavowed the both of us as walking companions, and we would have become as dead to her as my way already was. Still, there was something compelling about her.

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4 Comments

  1. It can be pretty tricky to figure out a right way, maybe it doesn’t even exist?

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

     /  January 31, 2015

    one of your ways sounds kind of like a kafkawalk to this observer [ deadhorse ]

    Reply

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