On Summer's Edge
The library, Detroit branch, is, of course, full of books, full of all kinds of books, and CD's and magazines. And I only come to Word process.
On the most beautiful day in recent memory (and my memory, at times, reaches back only a couple of days), I am glued to the screen of computer A3, to Word 2007 and to the Internet. But I do know when I've had enough, and after some time I push myself out of the chair and head out into the coolness of today, the breezy relief near a sweltering summer's end.
A friend is on the steps of the building; we chat for a bit and I get to meet his son for the first time. I walk down to the Phoenix Cafe; coffee is not on psychologist Abraham Maslow's list of elemental human needs, but coffeeshops somehow fulfill a need for me for comfort and good company.
The only problem with today is the conundrum of finding new shoes. I can either wait...and wait (and wait) for the correct 26 bus to take me to Westgate, or I can hop a quick bus to Tower City, and shop in an understocked shoe store. I reluctantly choose Tower City and head for the bus stop after I get my coffee.
Passing Record Exchange, two thoughts hit me at once, 1) there's a shoe store a block away, right? and 2) doesn't everyone say to buy local? (That way your money goes right back into your community).
Cerny's shoes has been here forever, and I remember that I bought my one and only pair of Airwalks there ten years ago. Best pair of shoes I’ve ever bought.
Mr. Cerny is very helpful. I find rows of tennis shoes on sale for $40 (Tower City would have been $60 at lowest), and I leave with a comfortable pair on my feet.
And -- I now know that I am a 10 wide, instead of the 9 and a half I thought I had been since I was 18 years old, and never thought to check since I started, uh, growing wider. This, all thanks to Mr. C's investigation into the matter after I told him I had to give my last pair of Nike's away because they gave me a "foot headache". (Try getting someone to take personal interest in your podiatric comfort at Tower City or at a big box store at Westgate.)
A long walk, now, with my new shoes, bright red. I cross the tracks and head down to Lakewood Park, where I am greeted with memories of an Anne E. DeChant concert, a decade ago, in the rain, with three people hanging in there to hear her sing her heart out.
Two things are for certain here -- 1) there is serendipity in taking a long walk through whatever little town you happen to inhabit (if it be Lakewood, you are certainly apt to find places to go), most especially when you are not in the habit of doing so, and 2) never put it past God to make shopping for shoes a spiritual experience.