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Walking Response Paper

Updated on July 1, 2022

When I was in high school, living in Massachusetts, before getting a car, my only mode of transportation was walking. I had my definitive destinations that were usually ingrained in the path that I would take. First there was the library in my town, a place where I was a frequent visitor, and was well known, to the point where friends used me as their reference to get their library cards. Often after that, I would stop into one of the local restaurants, to provide myself with lunch or dinner, depending on the time of day. Lastly, a possible pit stop at the gas station for an occasional house necessity, or snack whim, was made before the return journey.

However, the destinations were inconsequential, or at least arbitrary. The half-mile trek left my mind free to wander, into the obligatory daydreams provided by the CD player that would become my frequent companion. Images of the day would fall by the wayside, and obligations and obstacles were ignore or postponed as I ambled down the main road in the town I lived in at the time. I was lost to the world of dreams and fantasies. Stories would fill my head, both of books I’d read, movies I’d seen, and my own original tales, of a possible future existence better than what I had, and fictionally on par with the fiction I immersed myself into in order to escape reality.

The future, as I wrote it and rewrote it, would be different, I would be taller, more beautiful, maybe not wealthy, but comfortably stable financial situation with a well-paying job. I would fall in love, and live a harmonious existence free of the chaos and drama prevalent within my household and extended family. People in my life would be inserted and removed as needed, according to whatever plot I had fashioned in my head that required their presence. The walks, as I essentially was running on autopilot, enabled me a time of day before bed and outside of school, to build and remake my world. At no other time of day, did I remain un-accosted by family and reality.

The piece of technology that I would be hard pressed to do without would be my Walkman mp3 player. Music has often been my lifeline, either drowning out the voices and presence of those that sought to torment me for my failures on all levels, or as a lifeline to sanity, to build happy moments and events around. Each song offers me a different universe in which to get lost in, where I am strong and powerful, or witty and desirable, or rich and famous. Each artist provides me an existence where I stand on par with those in fiction I consider my heroes, letting me stand shoulder to shoulder with them, fighting their battles and helping them succeed.

Or the music would set the mood for a montage of images, telling the story of an epic journey. This is about the time when I became deeply invested into YouTube videos pertaining to my favorite shows and characters. Sometimes the story would be my own, with far more fantastical elements intertwined with reality. A song would become my battle cry, or something I held close to my heart as a security blanket, to provide myself with a flicker of hope in my existence, to not give up, it’s always darkest before the dawn, and I can get through this.


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