Walking through a busy area heightens my focus. People gather, scatter, and fall into line constantly. While shopping at the beach, I experienced the complete chaos.
I act like the defensive driver I used to be, anticipating erratic movement from any point. As I navigate through a passage where tens of people meander, I shorten my cane sweep. I tap more for signal than search. I move from side to side as pedestrians continue chatting and texting on cell phones, staring into windows, or walking four-abreast without fixing to respect my course.
A friend follows me a few steps later. He watches the sidewalk negotiations as closely as a spectator follows golf balls down the fairway.
We reach a cross street and wait to walk. Cars and cyclists stream by us.
“It’s incredible to me,” he says, shaking his head and motioning with his hands, “that you are the one getting out of their way.”
“I assume no one is paying attention,” I say, shrugging my shoulders, “Although, I don’t mind bumping into people taking more than their share of the sidewalk.”
The stoplight changes. It’s our turn, and we step off the curb onto the pavement. For a few seconds, the lane will stay clear until we rejoin vacationers overrunning the concrete ahead.