Passing Another Hiker on a Hiking Trail

Am I walking weird? Are my arms out of sync with my legs? I feel like my arms are out of sync with my legs 

Birds are singing, bells that keep large clawed beasts away are ringing, the river is meandering from either side of the valley that constricts it. It’s perfect. Then, anxiety floods over the body. That weird hat with the flaps on the side crests over the gentle, rolling hills of the trail. Legs begin to feel weak, breath becomes shaky, butterflies occupy the stomach, sweat drips down across the face to the tip of the nose where it survives for a couple seconds more before plummeting down to the gravely ground. Thoughts that never occurred until this very moment begin to blossom. Are my shorts too high? Am I showing too much knee? What if gravity just “turned off”? Weird hat with the flaps on the side continues to float as it slowly summits the small topographic high until eventually, it’s owner is revealed. A 5’11, maybe even 5’10, Caucasian man cloaked in the colours of the Arizona Desert. Poles at the ready, positioned ever so precisely to create a perfect 90-degree angle between his brachium and forearm. Sunglasses equipped. Are those Oakelys? Maybe. Still too far away to be certain. A tube comes out of his back, where at the end the source of life flows; dihydrogen monoxide. You nerd, just call it water. Brown boots with a black rubber toe extend all the way up to his knee. No, that doesn’t make sense. Why would his boots go all the way up to his kne….dizziness strikes, like the force of two continental plates colliding…… like when the Indian and Eurasian plates converged in the Eocene! Shhh. Not now. He’s getting closer. The flap of his weird hat with the flaps on the side is now more visible than ever. What will I say? Do I comment on the nice weather we’re having, which feels like 26 degrees Celsius with a slight westerly wind of approximately 4Km/h…..shhh. He’s even closer. The big white letters spelling C-L-I-F can be clearly seen sitting in the side pocket of his water filled back, although, I cannot make out if it’s the protein version or just the regular version. It’s outrageous that a 16 pack of Chocolate Almond Fudge Clif protein bars were 561 dollars and 5 cents on the Hubert’s websi……shhh. 9 meters and closing. This is it. What are you going to say? It better be funny. It better make him laugh. What is it going to be? What are you going to say? 7 meters. This is it. Now or never. Time to make a complete stranger laugh or live the rest of your life as a failure. 6 meters. 5 meters. This is it. 4 meters.

“Hi”

Dammit.    



Brett. Age: 23. Height: 5’11 3/4. Weight: 162 pounds, or, 13 phone books. Tattoos: Yes, 7, all of them of the neck variety. Thigh width: 32 cm. Thigh height: 52 cm. Was in consideration for season 7 of Wipeout but never made the cut.                  

Categories: Fiction

Daily Drunk

Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. You can follow him on Twitter @Sbb_writer.

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