8 miles

8 Miles

I’d listened to his bullshit for over an hour. The dumbest, dullest, most boring bullshit that only an equally boring dullard might take any pleasure in. Listening to a branch creak in the wind, a root spread or a pipe drip would have been a better way to spend the hour. The same time spent hearing saws scream or hammers pound nails would have been less dissonant. At least with the hammers and saw and nails, there’s a point to all the clatter. A birdhouse. A deck. A shorter board. Whatever.

Some people love that shit, but not me. I don’t understand the give and take of nothingness. For some, the exchange of their emptiness is a needed form of release. For me, it’s as vapid and lifeless – as useless- as a silent, dry, and odorless fart. It’s as tedious and pointless as drinking from an empty glass.

After an hour of his worthless, tiring bullshit, I finally said, “Well, I guess it’s time for me to leave.”

“Jeez,” he said. “It’s barely been an hour. I don’t see you for months and, when I do, you can’t get away fast enough. ”

“I’ve got something to do.”

“What’s so important?”

“My afternoon walk. My 8 mile walk.”

“Your walk’s more important than spending time with me?”


“That’s ridiculous. It’s just wandering around. It’s just wasting your time.”

“It’s how I clear my head. Walking. Music. The scenery.”

“What are you so tormented by that you so desperately need to clear your head?”

“Have you ever thought about going for a walk to clear you head?” I asked.

“Ha,” he scoffed. “And what would I need to clear out of my head?”

“Why don’t you come walk with me,” I said. “We can start you off light and easy. We won’t do any more than a half-mile if that’s all you can handle. But no talking. No bullshitting. Just walking. Just music or silence and the scenery.”

“I can’t. You know I can’t. ”

“Alright,” I said, as I stood to leave.

“You don’t want to know why?”

“I already know. I’ve heard it all before.”

“Won’t you let me tell you again?”

“No,” I said. “I already know.”

I walked toward the door. The day was too beautiful to waste anymore of it on his bullshit.

Before I left, I said, “You wanted to know what I exorcise from my mind on my long walks.”


“It’s not as simple as one single thing. But a lot of it’s the excuses that always nag at me.”

“What kind of excuses?”

“For one – the excuses that struggle to justify my never going on my long walks to help clear my head. Those excuses and lots more are what I’m trying to walk off.”

“Then I suppose I’ll see you again in few more months.”

“Yeah. It might be that long.”

Hours like that one necessitate a lot of walking. I gotta seize every opportunity I can.

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