Trust me—take a walk

Allan Gurganus is an accomplished American novelist and although I haven’t read any of his books, I came across a quote of his during a recent detective project.
“Know what, Sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them.”
It resounded with me, though I’d hate to think that what I perceive as my somewhat intimate relationship with endings and struggles in life happens because I am good at writing about all that malarkey.
I’d like to think there is something more valuable to my living my book of life than that.
I only have to look across the room at “Louis,” the kitten sitting perilously on the arm of the chair and batting the swing lid on the garbage can with his front paw, to know that he easily is a “cat”-alyst for my column.
And the fact that eventually Louis fell in, amidst the freshly-filleted skeletons and guts of six crappie I’d caught while ice-fishing (with a licence limit of 10 for those who are wondering), means the feline medium just garnered a second unintentional paragraph in this column originally dedicated to stories that happen to people who can tell them.
I meant every word I wrote in last week’s column about gratitude and no regret, but will admit that I’ve recently had unexpected visits from “Mr. Mad” and “Mr. Angry.”
Thinking too much about what is behind me opens the dungeon door to these unwelcome beings.
Thankfully, I rallied to walk a road less-travelled by such dark capes. To clear these harbingers, I really did take off walking—so mad at first that I could have decked a rogue bear or buck with my “fist held tight” had one crossed my path.
Before I knew it, four miles and one hour had passed and a quieter mind had returned.
I had suffocated the assassins of peace. They could not keep up. They were dragged to their deaths down a paved road.
That happened days and days ago. Now I’m hooked on the endorphins of the daily hour’s ritual and I put in my four miles “just because,” and passing by the dried-up skeletons of my arch nemeses cast off in the ditch between here and there and home again.
Of course, there’s always a test in frustration and patience waiting for me in the form of a cat when I get back from my walk.
There are any number of scenarios waiting to ambush me, the first of which usually is a heap of throw rugs that the kitten, high on energy drinks or some such, decided were evil monsters and had attacked and rounded them up in the most inconvenient place—jammed in front of the porch door so that I couldn’t open it.
Try coaxing a cat through a keyhole to come fetch a rug.
Stories only happen to people who can tell them. Right you are, Mr. Gurganus.
Just call me “Sugar.”

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