16 November 2004
3:37 pm to 4:37 pm
Ending point: 57 Murray Street
Distance from home: 0.1859 miles
Literature received: FlashDancers Gentlemen’s Club (“New state of the art renovation”), Falun Gong Today (“Chinese Prison Horrors Reenacted”), Falun Gong Today again, FlashDancers again, ATC/Local 338 flyer (“Duane Reade is screwing its workers”)
Coin: 2000 P quarter (Virginia)
I walked up to Park Row; then I made a loop and walked right back home. At Pace University, one student was exhorting her friends to move faster: “Let’s upgrade to power-walking! Come on!”
Striding down Broadway, I passed by lots of people heading in the other direction, pulling things: luggage, handcarts, post-office mail trolleys. One man was singing an unrecognizable song tunelessly with his headphones around his neck.
I wandered around in circles near my home and the World Trade Center, going up and down Broadway like an indecisive tourist. I headed back to Fulton Street and then lurched to the east. The air was full of dust from construction projects and the smell of fish from the fish market.
I walked north alongside the river, and soon turned west, into the passageway of Police Plaza. Kids rushed by, released from school, chattering: “Who dat?” “Charles’ other mom.”
As I headed west, I thought about writing a pop-psychology bestseller on the life lessons learned from doing flipwalks: accepting that you aren’t in control of your own destiny, you can’t count on getting to any one place, the journey is its own reward, you might find happiness someplace surprising. But the central metaphor of flipping coins didn’t seem like New York Times bestseller material. What would I have called it? Flipping for Bliss? Now, if I dropped thirty pounds and also made it an exercise book, that might have been a masterpiece of synergy.