Do me a favor: do not stand in the walkway. Stand off to the side there. Don't stand right in the middle of the sidewalk. Don't stand right in the middle of the steps. Don't stand right in the middle of the escalator. Don't stand right in the middle of that path, the main one, where everyone is walking.
Don't stand there. In the walkway.
When you're walking, in the walkway, don't stop walking. Don't slow down considerably. Don't get caught up in conversation to the point that you forget that your primary goal is making forward progress. Don't let your head fly off into the clouds. Focus. Move those feet. Keep moving. Always moving ahead. Don't come to a standstill. No standing here. This is a no standing zone. Whatever you do, however you feel, no matter what sort of day you're having or what might be on your mind or what your companion is telling you, do not, under any circumstances, stop walking while you're in the walkway.
Walkways are for walking.
There are people behind you. There are people behind them. There are people behind them. There are people behind them. Do you know where all of those people lined up behind you unto infinity want to be, eventually? Where you are. This can only be accomplished by a mutual and simultaneous forward movement. Any slowing-down (or, heaven forbid, stopping) on your part creates an instant logjam which ripples backwards at frightening speed, leaving anger, confusion, and discontent in its wake.
Just keep on moving.
You can stand off to the side. Put your back on the wall. Step off the curb. Hug that railing. Go sit on a bench. Find a quiet spot. Away from everyone. Maybe off in those weeds. Over there. No, farther. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. There. Okay. Fine. Now. Now you can stop. Now you can talk. Way over there. Out of the way.
But not in the walkway.
You're standing in the walkway. You're in my way. You're in his way. You're in her way. You're in our way. We have places to go. We have to move forward. We have to get past you. But we can't. Because you're in the way. Because you're standing still. Not just anywhere—in the walkway. That is so rude. That is so wrong. That makes us all very, very angry.
Please don't stand in the walkway.
[Photo: Divya Thakur/ Flickr]