I don’t know what it is, but I’m always looking for a way out.
This is not to say that I’m trying to get out of doing something – although that is certainly possible! I'm just looking for the exit. I’m scanning the area for something heavy to throw through the window should, for example, my desk inexplicably start on fire.
I’m wondering, if the car ahead of me should suddenly slam on its brakes, could I put my car in the ditch without rolling it?
There’s usually a way out, if you look hard enough.
Which brings us to the state of the Minneapolis skyways during the month of December.
Do you know about the skyways? Smartest things ever.
Minneapolis, specifically, is a lovely city of parks, trees, and medium-sized buildings nestled in the United States’ Upper Midwest.
Minnesota, in general, was once a small part of Lake Agassiz, a shallow and reportedly tropical lake of enormous proportions but is now the home to 10,000-some much smaller, cooler lakes and a variability in weather that will make a cruel joke of your wardrobe.
Ready to go outside? Not so fast there, Missy. I don’t think you’re dressed for it! Me? Well, today, for example, I am wearing woolen leggings (from the ankle to mid-thigh), a tank top, a cashmere cardigan, a corduroy jacket, the usual undergarments (rubber pants, ace bandages and tin-foil-lined wig), three pairs of pants, socks and shoes.
OK. So I’m exaggerating about the pants. I am not wearing three pairs of pants.
It just looks that way from behind.
Which brings us back to the skyways.
The holidays are upon us, and the shoppers are here.
The skyway: the internal, second-floor glass pipes spanning from building to building, a veritable Habitrail of humanity, has been clogged with shoppers.
The shoppers, in from the suburbs, from the looks of things, have loaded up everything they need, may need, or wish they’d brought along last time they shopped downtown and are doing a tour of the skyways with it.
Let’s see: we got the stroller, the kids (Kourtney, Kaylee, and Hunter), all the coats, scarves, and mittens they own, their backpacks, and Zip-Loc baggies of Froot Loops and cheddar-flavored crackers shaped like fish for snacks.
They’ll be going to the 9th floor of Macy’s for the Christmas display (A Day In The Life Of An Elf), to the 12th floor for lunch, and then they’ll shop until the Holidazzle Parade, the opportunity to stand outside after dark, freezing the end of your nose while people whose noses are also freezing go by on floats.
But first! It’s time to stand in the center of the skyways.
What is it that’s so hard to understand about the skyway? You walk on the right. You don’t stand in groups in the center of it, nor do you stand in doorways. You don’t walk five people abreast. You don’t stand in line at Starbucks and wonder aloud about what you want when there are 20 people in line behind you. You don’t point and stare at the young male dressed in short-shorts and fishnet stockings.
He’s a freak; but he’s our freak.
And thus, the importance of an escape route. And this one has me flummoxed.
That’s right. I’m flummoxed.
One can’t avoid going from building to building, especially during the lunch hour and especially when it seems one can’t be bothered, these days, to pack my – uh, one’s lunch.
Insert resigned sigh here.
They’ll all be gone in three weeks. It’s good for the economy. These are my fellow humans, and I love them.
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