While David, the Pine Street newcomer, was making another creepy first impression, Leo was walking.
He walked in the sloppy snow, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves, both quickly soaked through. At least I thought to put on my boots, or else my feet would be wet too.
Leo was in one of his moods, a mood that could only be dealt with by walking. Riding his bicycle was out of the question in this weather; although he’d done it a few times, he’d learned the lesson that snow-slicked alleys, shallow-treaded tires, and distraction had taught him a few times, as well.
And in any case, riding a bicycle was not the remedy for this mood. He needed to have his feet on the ground, and to get lost in his thoughts, which he imagined as the tangled steel girders and beams of some kind of post-apocalyptic landscape.
Leo knew the meaning of being “your own worst enemy.” He was, he knew it, and he could not seem to stop. He’d seen book titles about being “your own best friend,” and thought that sounded a hell of a lot better.
Leo didn’t really like reading. He wished someone would read those books, and then sit him down and tell him the secrets they held. This, he imagined, would unlock his self-worst-enemy rut, and launch him into self-best-friendliness.
But no one volunteered, or even came to mind as someone he could ask this favor of.
So he walked.
Wet snow created dark stains on his sweatshirt, and dripped off his nose. Chill seeped into his bones. His feet were warm and dry, but encased in those big rubberized boots, they seemed to weigh about ten pounds each. He wanted to run, as he’d done as a kid, just run as fast and far as he could until the thinking was drowned out by shortness of breath and hot pain in his thigh muscles. No way, though, not at his age, in this weather, with these dang boots.
So Leo walked, and walked, and tried to leave his own worst enemy behind in the cold wet snow.