My neighborhood is good for walkers. If you walk regularly, you get to know many of them. If you walk at 6:30 a.m., The Dog Walkers (they are my favorites) are out. All the dog walkers are men and the dogs are wonderful. They (the dogs not the men) are excited to see me. Some sniff and some jump but all are docile. If you walk closer to 8:30/9 a.m. you see the housewives in their groups of two chatting faster than they are walking, arms pumping in cute matching Nike outfits. (I didn’t realize that there was an elite “walkers’ uniform.”)
One of the first walkers that I saw from the later crew was a woman I named Crazy Lady. She is middle-aged, with curly-fuzzy, long, pure white hair. She always wears red lipstick. That may make her stand out but it isn’t why she got her title (The C.L., for short). The first time I saw her, she was walking down the road, swinging her arms up, down, sideways and in circles, looking like she might attempt human flight. She was twirling around, skipping, sometimes walking in reverse and overall, acting a bit “off.” From a distance, I expected to hear her chant “HALLELUJAH” at least once – maybe more. At all times, her eyes were aimed at the sky and her smile was beyond ear-to-ear.
From working in a small city – before the muggers — I was used to seeing many poor souls who lived in halfway homes. Some had disorders like Turret’s or maybe they were bi-polar but they always did and said things that were inappropriate or odd. They never hurt anyone, they just were odd. I just assumed that this poor lady (now known as “The C.L.”) was one of those folks. She walks every day.
One day I noticed wires hanging from her ears. Duh! I suddenly realized that she wasn’t mentally deranged; she was doing an exercise routine! Jane Fonda? Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies?”
She would always wave to me (although we never met) as if we shared a passion (I hate exercise!). I saw her in the grocery store once. She said, “I know you!” (Obviously, she didn’t KNOW me but remembered me from the streets.)
Over the many years we exercise sort of together, I have come to admire her. First, she actually does exercise (kudos to her!). Second, she doesn’t give a fig what folks think about her jumping, twitching and twirling (I give her a wide berth just in case a somersault is coming!).
I wish I had the courage and the ability to do her routines, which I now call “The C.L. Strut”. I have slowly started doing small arm circles but only on a section of the street that is deserted. My goal is to one day, come out of the house twirling and jumping and flapping my arms without a thought about anyone calling me Crazy Lady (“C.L. II”) — at least for that.