Image by Improve Everywhere.
New Yorkers walk faster than most, a fact I notice about myself when I have out of town visitors. (You can always tell the difference a native and a tourist. New Yorkers walk quickly in straight lines with purpose, while tourists meander and take up the whole sidewalk.)
I may be fast, but compared to me, Dan is a speed demon. It is not uncommon that when we walk “together,” he ends up walking 15 yards in front of me. I am forever looking at his back. He has a nice back, but I would rather be looking at his face.
This happens especially in crowded situations such as subway platforms and staircases. We may exit the subway car at the same exact time, but his talent allows him to dodge masses of people and get many paces ahead while I am stuck behind a crowd. Luckily, Dan is very tall so I hardly ever lose him; the back of his head high above the crowd is a constant presence. Once in a while, he might even stop and wait for me to catch up. But if my “slowness” makes us miss the train, I often get the stink-eye.
From our apartment on the Upper East Side, it is a ten-minute walk to the subway consisting of three long blocks. Sometimes in the morning, Dan and I will leave together to go to work. He will walk next to me for the first block. Sometimes he will hold my hand so he can pull me to walk faster.
For the next two blocks, Dan has determined that if walks fast enough, he doesn’t have to wait for the lights which means he can get on the subway faster. I never want to rush to work so this is the time where we usually kiss good-bye. Dan will go full force ahead, and I will stay at my leisurely (though not exactly slow) pace and wait at the lights. About seventy percent of the time, his swiftness allows him to make the train faster, but often times, I will find him standing on the subway platform, face buried in his latest copy of The New Yorker, waiting for the next train.