Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Step on a Crack and

I usually only notice when my stride begins to alter unnaturally: steps shortened, or lengthened, a little hop to make it fit.  My toe hugs the edge, and then, a few steps later, my heel just barely squeaks over the line.  I know what's going on here.

It's fine.  Nothing happens if you step on a crack.  I know that.  So step on the crack.  Step on it.  STEP.

I pull my feet forcefully back into line and place my foot deliberately on the seam.  I step on another.  Until finally I'm walking normally again, not paying attention.

See?  No broken backs.

When I was a kid I would jump on the cracks viciously anytime I was mad at my mom.  I'd get a running start on a good crack and pounce, pounding my feet into the pavement.  I'd hold both feet flat, parallel to the sidewalk, and slap them down, again again again.

It was a time when I hadn't yet learned that it's no good to fight fire with fire, that's it's much better to use cool water.