Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Just checking out the tile work

Published:Monday | October 12, 2015 | 10:00 AM

"Why do you always walk with your head down?"

You would be surprised how many people have asked me that question at some point in my life. I never paid attention to trying to find a real answer until now. The last individual who asked this question was given an answer I made up on the spot. It had something to do with trying to find out what my mutant power was. I'm serious! I either told her something about trying to see if I had X-ray vision, or if I could move stuff with my mind. True story.

Over the years, I've come up with a myriad reasons to tell people when they ask about my walking style. The obvious one was that I was looking for some coin I just dropped. And then I think there was something about just checking out the tile work. Whatever it was, it was always in good fun. But then, after a while, I just kind of stopped trying to come up with stuff. The persons who asked never really stuck around to hear an answer anyway, so it didn't seem necessary. I would smile or give a small laugh and move on.

But I seriously didn't try to analyse the whole thing before now. So here goes. First off, I don't always walk like that. It's just when the mind is scrambled worse than jigsaw puzzle pieces. Two, it's usually when I'm thinking about a number of things or about one specific thing I think it's the same reason I don't like to repeat things I say. It's about confidence, or lack thereof. Even if I tell you "good morning" or "good afternoon" while looking you in the eye, my gaze is eventually going to shift downward once I move on.

You see, I have an inferiority complex. A huge one. You know how some people are supremely comfortable in their own skin. I'm pretty certain I could be 6' 5" and born rich, and I'd still walk the way I do. There's this stunning model I follow on Instagram who just happens to have vitiligo (that skin condition where portions of the skin lose their pigment). Let's be honest, it can cause people to stare at you. But she couldn't care less. She embraces the condition and is a spokesperson to educate the world about it. Me? I'd probably wear long sleeves and a hoodie everywhere. That's ridiculous thinking, but I'm just being honest.

People who walk with chests held high and shoulders square always seem to know what they're about. I don't. So if anything, when my head is down, I'm really looking for me, for the reason I even exist. My late aunt would tell me to look upward for inspiration not the other direction. Except, if I walk with my head staring upwards, I'll trip over things. So head down it is. I know the answer is down there somewhere.

And look at the bright side. I'm short so I won't hit my head into any hanging objects. Later

• Look with me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com