The honesty of walking
Alan Hanson is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He lives in Los Angeles.
Today I will walk. I will punch the pads of my feet into the pavement one by one and morse-code the sidewalk for as many miles the sighing day will allow. I awoke this morning with a fever in the deep of my gut and in its embers hissed and howled a want for honesty. Sometimes, I prefer the lies; to escape in violet dreams and let my nose snort clouds. Snnnnnort them up my nostrils like cotton candy and pop my synapses out of reality. But today, is different. I want to be honest. O, Lord do I want to be honest. O! you beautiful concrete Lords of Los Angeles! I am salivating at this day you have given us and I tie my shoes tight! For walking is the last honest act I can commit to.
My vehicle is a liar. My vehicle tells me we are going to buy groceries. My vehicle takes me to buy drugs and buy pints of triple-distilled escapism and buy McDonald’s with my last auburn cent and buy myself nasty ideas about driving into the cocky, gleaming facade of the US Bank building. So I drive my vehicle for the last time. I drive it up Mulholland Drive and then turn it around. Then I get out and shot-put my keys into the bushes and then release the emergency brake and watch it silently snake back down the hill until it hurls itself into the living room of some architectural achievement with a coffee table made of a wood I will never hear of. Whew!
Walking is honest. And with these ample feet I destroy my telephone which is also my camera, my alarm clock, my compass, and my radio (one of the most vile of all liars!). I grind it into shiny dust on the sidewalk and sigh with closed eyes and watch my relief tangle in the air in front of me. I must stop distorting images; showing only what I want you to see and so often. I must stop communicating. Communication is the playground of liars. It’s all or nothing and since I can’t give it all, since I can’t explain all the undergrounds of my hurting head, I must stick to nothing. Even this, even this mad page is pushing it, but I’m walking and honest today and I trust you won’t rat me out.
Walking is honest when you have no destination. With no destination I hold zero beliefs about where I am going because I am going nowhere. And I’ve gone nowhere many, many times. This time I’m doing it on purpose. You hear me, you filthy Gods? You see me taking hold of your nasty loose-ends and saying No! I will not, I can not, let these dangle! And I tie them like my laces with double-knots and a sunned face knocking at the spaces in front of it, putting city miles between where I am now and where I will end up. Which is nowhere. Thank the dirty Gods!
Even loving you, mein Liebchen, meine schönes Mädchen, is mired in the trenches of dishonesty. You see, as much as I give to you of me, I can’t help but feel absurdly selfish loving you. For all I do is exist, and barely so, and in return the exponential dividends of your acceptance make me an undeserved God. I am the new God and I have evicted the old Gods whose beards needed combing. They got lazy! They got fat asses sitting on those puffy clouds so long! But I am the Lean God and I am making a push for honesty and I push it, real good, with my soles. Pat, pat, pat the pavement. My feet disappear the ground behind me and conveyor the future city blocks to my fixed position. I spin the Earth and it thanks me by dousing me in gravity. Even a big-headed balloon-skulled false-idol like myself is afraid of exploding! Aren’t we all?
So I walk. And the chuckling sparrows fly honestly and smile on branches above me. The symphonic breast of the city burps metal and horns and it is real. The world’s full palette before me is truly there and looks how it looks. So I’m walking to join them. Me and my silly steps, me and my Jody Calls, me and my cloudy head in the Angeles sunshine creating new, silly, wonderful truths and loving you.