I listen to audio books when I walk Bear. Sometimes the book is so good, Bear gets extra walks just so I can listen. Last night about 10:00 PM was such an occasion. Bear does not mind. He is up for a walk any time of nhe night or day.
Out the door we went, Bear leading the way and me outfitted in my normal regalia. Instead of a crown, I wore my 2006 Boston Marathon cap - did I ever mention that I ran the Boston Marathon? I am sure I did. At any rate, instead of a sceptor I carried a small metal LED flashlight in one hand, Bear's leash in the other.
I could walk our course in my sleep and certainly at night with a flashlight. The walk was uneventful most of the way. It was the typical Louisiana summer night. Unique fauna making their familiar sounds. The frogs, crickets, and locusts seemed to compete for the "who can make the most noise" award in their own nocturnal Olympics.
The air is thick and envelops me. It is so warm I lose my sense of where my body stops and the atmosphere begins. I feel expanded and I blend into the tapestry of the night. My book plays on.
Rounding a corner, I pause as Bear finds something interesting to sniff. A car rolls up slowly and I do not notice it is a police cruiser until the door opens and an officer hails me. I had the typical, "What th. . ." reaction internally. The officer spoke, "Are you alright?" What an open ended question. I am smart enough to know, however,you do not attempt humor when an officer of the law asks you a question at night in the middle of a street. So I suppress the urge to give a wise ass response. "Sure," I answered. The officer explained that someone reported an old man walking in a red shirt with no shoes on - "But you are wearing an orange shirt and are wearing shoes." All I could say was, "I don't know," and shrugged.
"I guess your neighbors were concerned about you." He said. I agreed, he wished me a good night and drove off.
When random events occur they take some time to soak in. I got to thinking, old man? no shoes? Something does not add up, but I switched my book back on and headed the last few blocks back home.
Two blocks later, I saw him. A little old man - straight out of central casting. He was walking on the side of the street slowly with a walker. He was wearing a red shirt and was in stocking feet. I spoke to him and he returned my greeting. I contemplated tackling him and holding him there until the police arrived, but it was just me and I was not sure I could take him. Mystery solved. I figured he chose this time of night for some exercise. It hs been oppressively hot here and anyone with brains would avoid exercising in it - especially an older gentlemen like this man was.
I saw a number of people on my walk. In about a mile and a half loop I probably saw 5 or 6 groups of people walking dogs or just walking. That is a lot for that little loop. Most days, I do not pass anyone.
So that is my adventure. Bear never acknowledged the policeman. He was engrossed in something in the grass. His nose was planted like it was a magnet to the earth. This post is intended as a public service announcement for the residents of Covington. If you choose to walk at night, be forewarned - there are characters out there, but be assurred - our men in blue are there too.
Until the next time