I go through my days analyzing things around me. Most especially I spend time analyzing the behaviors of people, people in general and also in particular the people immediately around me. Lately I’ve been paying attention to the way people walk. Not to how they move their legs, how they work their joints, but to the paths that they follow. People have a strong tendency to wander around as they ambulate along a sidewalk. They drift to and fro. They find a comfortable distance from the nearest wall or obstacle. but they don’t hold that distance fixed. It’s actually quite annoying when they’re walking slower than I am and casually meandering in such a way that I can’t figure out on which side of them there will be enough room to pass.
I realize that I’m not immune from some of the same random movement to my own path, but I am working on it, I am making an effort to walk in a straight line and to not position myself just far enough from a wall so as to make it impossible for someone to pass between me and the wall but still taking up as much of the sidewalk away from the wall as possible.
Today I had a woman walking in front of me and pretty much right on cue, as I started to move forward to pass her she angled to the left, moving away from the street and cutting me off. There was no one in front of her, no obvious obstacle, no reason for such a deliberate maneuver; but when I moved around and to her right I was able to see that there were a couple of shallow puddles left over from the morning’s rain and clearly she had moved to avoid stepping in those. It was one of those all too rare moments in my analyzations when there was an actual answer, one that was essentially definitive.
God says I’ve now moved from overthinking things to overthinking my overthinking. And I don’t think she meant it as a compliment.