I have recently learned that I walk too fast.
I was born third, behind a brother and a sister who were always having the best kinds of fun. I walked as close to their heels as I could, eager to keep up, eager to join the adventure. I took two steps for their one. I could never walk too fast.
My father is six-foot-one, and I took a long time reaching my five-foot-five. Holding his hand, I practically danced beside him to keep stride, or just let go of the ground and swung by his hand. Daddy’s girl could never walk too fast, could never outstretch his reach.
I grew up in a house with a fat yard, where running was the only way to get to the car or the mailbox or the neighbors in any decent time. I grew up close enough to the city, that if I kicked a rock too hard, it clattered into a busy street. I crossed streets in a hurry to beat the flashing numbers on the other side. I walked fast to take advantage of the gaps in the traffic, or the crowd, or just to escape them entirely.
I went to school down south, where rambling and wandering and moseying are real things. I’d thought they were fairy stories. Every one else thought I was an alien, trying to slice air every time I moved my feet. They told me to slow down often enough. But I could wake up with ten minutes til class, and never arrive late. For me, it only took six minutes to move across campus.
I’ve climbed mountains, and never been slowed down by the view. Mountains are made for a good rock-hop, and a climb that leaves your lungs scraped clean. I can rush into work, and still smell the roses, just by dropping my hand around the petals as I walk by. The smell stays longer on my skin than it does on your nose. If I walk fast enough, I can be the first on the dance floor. If I know the fast way home, I can be the last to leave.
There has never been a speed to quick for stepping, until yesterday, when I climbed the stairs, hands full, misjudged, ducked into my room, and didn’t quite make it.
I should not have been able to crack into a doorway that hard while walking. I should not have been able to collect a bruise this sharp while walking. I walk entirely too fast.
But I’ll only remember that as long as the bruise lasts, or perhaps just until I catch sight of the dance floor again.