Walk This Way

TULSA — Five days a week, a city wakes up before his eyes.

Securing the car door at Seventh and Elgin, he begins taking it in, never varying course.

Chains remain on the doors of an abandoned apartment building. He takes an alley behind a tavern that is still sleeping off the night before.

Church bells toll. Wind whips the flags atop buildings.

He stops at a crosswalk to admire the skyline, majestic against a blue backdrop.

In a parking lot outside a soup kitchen, the homeless sip coffee in the sun. Workers surrounded by orange pylons saw a hole through a sidewalk, creating a cloud of concrete dust.

Emergency lights flashing, a produce truck idles in front of a restaurant. He waves at an employee inside a deli, his favorite lunchtime haunt.

Turning the last corner, he is stared down by a graybeard sitting alone at a bench. Three men, drinking beers wrapped in brown paper, converse around a garbage can.

The walk, seven blocks and 10 minutes, is over. He reaches for a key card and unlocks the day.

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