Me and Ursa Major

“You know you are very dark, don’t you?” Yes. I am. Very dark. I know no one can see me. A neighbor/dog-walker who I am vaguely acquainted with felt obligated to tell me that one dark, early morn. One of those kind of buttoned-up, fussy, politically correct type people whose face is frozen into a frown. People like that can be sooooo helpful sometimes. “You’re gonna get hit by a car, yada yada.” I think my all time favorite is that old wives’ tale about going outside in the cold with wet hair. “You’ll catch your death of cold!” Oh yeah? I get up every morning at 0-skunk-30. I take a shower and I walk. I do not dry my hair before I walk. I let the air do that. Or not. I have huge hair and, if it’s snowing, sometimes I end up with a big tangle of hair and ice. That has yet to happen this year. We’ve been having unseasonably warm weather. I’m sure that will change soon.

Anyway. Walking in the dark invigorates me! Walking in the dark in a snow storm and getting ice hair is icing on the cake, pun intended. And, yes, I am very dark. I like to be invisible!!!! And I walk in the street, mostly. I will not buy fluorescent orange clothing or stick neon pink duct tape to my jacket. I have thought about a headlamp, just because they’re cool and some friendly runner gals I see on Thursdays wear them. Still, I don’t think they are for me. Maybe a big spotlight so I can see the skunks? But I don’t need you to see me. I can see you. If you are driving an automotive vee-hickle, I can hear you from a few blocks away and I will just walk over onto the sidewalk until it passes me.

Well. Except for today. Two old warrior cats were circling each other in the dark in the middle of the street. About to fight, I thought. A car was coming around the corner. Should I jump out of the way? I didn’t know what the cats would do. Would they see the car? Would the car see them? I didn’t want to watch a cat get hit by a car. I stood there in the middle of the street in my invisible clothing. Would the car see me? It did! It slowed, the cats scattered, and I got out of the street.

Just a little slice of my so-called life. Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite. I mean that. Snort.

6 Responses to “Me and Ursa Major”

  1. Paulette Says:

    During this first week of deer season with high-powered rifles, I have been schlumping about wearing a blaze orange jacket during walks. Fudge and Sophia accompany me wearing their orange neck pieces. (I love walking at dusk.) Hate orange ;0)

  2. kayak woman Says:

    Paulette, you NEED those jackets up there. I was thinking about deer season when I wrote this. I always avoid hiking in the woods when we go north during deer season. I *think* I am safe from deer rifles here on the Planet Ann Arbor but *you* be careful!!!!! I

  3. Marquis Says:

    In the winter, when it is darkest I wear ninja black when I bike. It is easiest to clean. I also sport about 40 watts of lighting though. I don’t believe that the color of your clothing makes much of a difference at night. All cats are grey in the dark. Bicycling Magazine says that unlit riders can only be seen at 75’. It should be even less for walkers. (Our eyes are adapted to see faster objects) Anyway, that doesn’t leave a lot of stopping distance. Short of the orange vest and 40 watts of Christmas lighting are the little LED please-don’t-hit-me lights. Not as good at lighting, but still better than nothing are some of the new fabrics like Illuminite. Think millions of tiny mirrors woven into your clothes.

  4. Margaret Says:

    I like my little nerdy cap with the lights–I can have two, three or blinking ones. You would have fun with it! Just be careful; we don’t want you to get hit. I run in the dusk and don’t want to be invisible, the way people drive around here. 25 miles an hour? HA HA

  5. kayak woman Says:

    I think I *would* have fun with little lights and mirrors on my clothing! I would definitely be more careful about being visible if I were biking. *I* would be going faster and concentrating more on what I was doing. And I should add that there is *very* little traffic on the neighborhood streets where I walk. I really can see and/or hear cars when they are several blocks away.

  6. Pooh Says:

    maybe you could arrange the little lights so they looked like Ursa Major and Orion!