My job at the Discovery Exchange (Columbus State’s bookstore) is on hiatus until the day after Labor Day, so I’ve been enjoying this time off to the hilt, including a very open-ended Friday night bedtime. The downside to this is that I’ve ended up sleeping through Saturday morning and early afternoon events that I’ve not wanted to miss. But I am boasting a new–to me–pair of shoes.
Even though it was close to 5 a.m. when I tumbled into bed
last night this morning, I fully intended to walk to Grandview this morning for the matinee re-showing of The Terror, starring Jack Nicholson and Boris Karloff. (Fritz the Nite Owl showed it at midnight the Saturday of Comfest, and Susie and I waited and waited for Bus 5 to take us to Grandview Ave., but it never came, hopelessly snarled in all the northbound traffic exiting Goodale Park.)
The show started at 11 a.m., so I planned to have pavement under me by 9:30. My alarm went off at 8:45, I cursed it, shut it off, and promptly went back to sleep. It was past noon when I finally got out of bed for good. (I rationalized it by remembering my years of third-shift work, at The Crimson and at the Cincinnati post office, when 12 noon would be considered rising too early.)
I also took a pass on two chances to be civic-minded. The Stand Up for Ohio Festival was at the Ohio State Fairgrounds today, easily within walking distance (for me), and my original plan was to go after the movie. (The event featured the Ohio Players, Grand Funk Railroad, and Nikki Giovanni.) I couldn’t summon the interest or mental energy to make my way there, despite being 100% on the same page with the goals of the organization–namely the repeal of Senate Bill 5, the bill which effectively ended collective bargaining for Ohio’s civil servants.
The same was true for the Weinland Park Festival. Even though it was much closer, I declined to go to this as well. In the year that I have lived here, I have fallen almost completely out of love with Weinland Park, and I would have felt hypocritical going to the Festival, as if my warm body being there indicated that I affirmed and took pride in being a resident. At best, it would have been like going to the Thanksgiving dinner of relatives you loathe because they happen to set such a good table.
So what did you do, O blogger? I went to the Goodwill in Baja Clintonville (by the Giant Eagle) to buy shoes, since there were holes in the soles of the pair I was wearing. In my un- or underemployed days, I would have remedied this by filling the holes with newspaper and using the shoes until the soles started flapping. But today, for a little over $7, I came away with a gray and white pair of Adidas tennis shoes, and a black T-shirt from Sloppy Joe’s in Key West. (I have never been to Key West, nor to Florida, but I bought the shirt because of the picture of Hemingway on the front. (Hemingway and friends habituated this bar until he moved from Key West in 1939.)
Once I put on the new shoes and pitched the ones I had been wearing, I broke them in by walking about three or four miles around Clintonville and the North Campus area. (I remember when I was delivering newspapers on Knox St. in Marietta when I was in high school. I overheard a little girl tell her mother, “I’m putting on my new shoes so I can break out in them!” Art Linkletter was right.)
When I sign onto online chat boards, I’ve considered using Walkingman as my screen name, but I haven’t. I would think people would associate it with the James Taylor album of that name–one of his least commercially successful and one of my least favorite. A friend suggested Walkingdude, but I vetoed that right away. I’ve never liked the word dude, and I think it sounds idiotic without the word ranch after it. But the main reason is because this is one of the many nicknames Stephen King uses in The Stand for the demonic Randall Flagg, the novel’s mega-antagonist.