You never know how much you miss something until you see it. Yesterday, during my regular walk, I saw two very strange things.
First, I saw a well-dressed man walking slowly. By well-dressed I mean that he was very obviously not engaged in any athletic activities. He just walked. I even followed him for a while because the only person I’ve seen take long leisurely walks alone in this town is me. The idea that there is another walk-loving soul in the area was disturbing and heart-warming at the same time.
Then, I saw a group of teenagers. They were rowdy, as teenagers should be, throwing a ball to each other, laughing, shouting. I stared at them like they were an apparition. God, I haven’t seen a group of 13 or 14-year-old kids walking around, enjoying themselves out in the streets since I moved into this area. It made me so happy to see that at least there were four or five boys in town who got a chance to hang out with their friends doing nothing instead of being shipped from one scheduled activity to another by helicoptering parents.
This is the safest area in the universe, folks. I’m a very paranoid person but I have now started forgetting to lock my front door when I go on my walks. It’s safe, quiet, and beautiful. And still, nobody is ever outside. Yesterday, we were at +21C. This is summer-time weather. And nobody went outside to enjoy it. I’ve walked around our middle-class area, the nearby poorer area, and the rich-folks area across the road. There is never anybody outside. Gangs of teenagers and people taking walks do not exist. Young people drive to a convenience store they can see out of their windows for a can of soda.
Say what you will, this is just wrong.