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CEMENT FOOTPRINTS  

It was on the walk home from a meditation session that it happened. My head was still in a cloudlike state, drifting from one hazy thought to the next. In order to arrive home in time for the PBS news hour, I cut through the housing complexes. My usual route was to bypass streets in favor of stairs. Concrete slabs approached this particular set of stairs. On that day, I noticed a pair of striped orange and white traffic cones in front of the stairs. Besides those, there was no warnings tape. Since I am of the belief that golf ruins a good walk, I ignored the handwritten sign proclaiming that the area was being readied for golf cart parking. I made my way around the back of the cones to the stairs and found, to my astonishment my feet were not behaving with their usual sprightliness. In fact, they were not behaving at all. They were firmly stuck in one spot and sinking rapidly. For a split second, I wondered if I had been transported to some unknown marshy country. When I looked down, to my horror, I discovered the usual concrete slab was not concrete at all. It was wet cement. My sneakers made a sucking sound as I tugged my feet free. As I started up the stairs, I noticed my footsteps imprinted, hopefully for generations to come, in the cement. A pressing concern was to reach home before I acquired a pair of concrete sneakers. Luckily, I was only half a block away. Leaving a few more footprints on the stairs and the grass above it, I made for home in a speedy shuffle. After stripping off my sneakers, I held them under the outdoor faucet. The cement did come off with the help of a rigorous nail brush. But my sneakers never recovered. 
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