William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Forty-Two Houses

Counting the one we live in, between here and the stop sign there are seven houses. I just ran to the stop sign and back three times. That makes forty-two houses. It’s foggy this morning and fairly chilly out, just above freezing. Nice and dark. No wind. Dawn just a thought, not yet a glow. Maybe a promise. We shall see. I refuse to take it for granted. Forty-two houses. I could have run around the block instead, as I’ve been doing of late. But I didn’t. The block isn’t really a block in a square or rectangular sense. It has its lazy bends. Even after living here all these years, I don’t know how far it is. But it’s less, I think, than forty-two houses. In fact, I’m almost sure of it. As sure as I am that I’m sitting here, which is a subject open for debate. Is he or isn’t he? Am I or amn’t I? I ran slowly enough, taking small steps. I breathed in and out only through my nose. My hands were bare, as were my feet in their thin sandals. By human standards, I made very little noise. Just a soft padding sound. I awakened no hounds. These are the same sandals I wear on the trail, and dip in the rushing snow-melt. I wear them by Goose Lake and the river. I wear them on errands. But generally I don’t wear them at all. The reason I wear them while running on the street is that the bottoms of my feet are still a bit sensitive to that surface. I can walk on it fairly well, but after a while they get to tingling, which in its own strange way is pleasant enough, until the tingling tells me to stop. A few minutes later, the tingling goes away. I love my feet. One thing I like to do is to see how relaxed and how calm I can be. This includes the time I’m running. This morning I was very relaxed and calm. No urgency at all. No fight or flight response. Only my feet, my lungs, and my diaphragm, for a meaningless distance of forty-two houses, except that each house contained sleeping and dreaming bodies and countless other things.


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Categories: Sweet Sleep and Bare Feet

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. I’ve been barefoot almost always, for years.
    I often have to put cream on my feet because they really become new shoes. But it doesn’t matter much.
    It is an exquisite sensation, a total well-being.
    I have a hard time wearing shoes. I always need something very flexible.
    Small wink with your text.
    Good and beautiful day, William.

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