"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (2013) has become one of my favorite movies.
Also, this gif set is beautifully done. Thank you to the gif creator. Thank you to Ben Stiller. Thank you James Thurber. Thank you Earth. Thank you Life.
He walked down to the cement. It had rained that afternoon and the sidewalk felt comforting. The sports coat he took with him was made of brown tweed with wet stains. If it rained again he knew it was to be ruined. No wind carried anything today—no sound, no calming, no vastness—just itself. Berries flattened dotted the gray cement as he walked up to 5th and Huckstin. The walk was only a couple blocks away from his apartment complex. He was going to meet someone there at the corner of the 5th and Huckstin.
He walked with a calm step as if not to disturb whatever being was holding the city together. Glass windows duplicated to tower the skies and smoke venting over luscious aspens who sat by the street. “Be invisible” was his very thought as he crossed the street onto the right on 2nd Street. The buildings need their rest and the trees must grow. All hours the business men work the buildings’ bones dry and he saw that the painted plaster ached with twist and turn. The trees admired one another and learned from the ancient skyscrapers. Huckstin Avenue was always like this. Now and then a new aspen, a new building, a new person, but for now it was always as it has been. He moved up to 3rd Street with others on their way to meet others.
On 3rd Street there was an antique store he often frequented. He checked his watch, or it seemed like he did. There was no amount of time to allow him to pass the store. The store’s sign was brand new reading “Ole Stallin Look” He crossed over to the left side of 3rd and went inside with the door’s bell beckoning.
Antique clocks two feet tall lined the shelves of both walls. Freshly dusted animal carvings, broken typewriters, functioning typewriters, two feet tall radios that have heard fireside chats, dusty vinyls, and bombshell posters seemed piled upon each other in an orderly fashion around the four tables in the store. The clocks each ticked to their own accord—a symphony it feels, but some times a cacophony.
"Tvpewriter today?" The clerk asked. She was cleaning a plain transparent vase.
"No, I don’t need anymore—yet."
She smiled, “soon I’v grow gray and broke if neznakomets keeps this up.”
"Maybe that’s what I’m going for," he said with eyes tired and a quick grin as he picked up an old music box. Her eyes glazed over the music box as she kept concentration on the pristine vase.
He opened it and there was a blackened mirror. He could make out his weary eyes, but there was no music. He turned the ornate gold turnkey, but still nothing. He closed it and looked at the once bright velvet cushioning on top where all sorts of jewelry must have been placed. The bottom jaw was wooden white with four curled legs. A princess could have held this, a queen, a king, an heirloom for a street urchin, a painter, or merely a household decorative. He set it down and sat down in a laminated wooden chair next to the clerk. The ticking of the clocks droned on, and some times chimed on.
"You shovld go. You’v be late," she said without looking.
"Yeah," he continued, "I’ll come back next week." The door’s bell jingled as he left.
He walked gently up through 4th Street. Children walked together down 4th talking about philosophy, mathematics, ethics, and chemistry. The aspens were saplings and the children often imparted their knowledge onto them as they passed by. He saw the saplings grow each week he went to meet someone.
He stopped at the corner of 5th and Huckstin. There was a green bench leaned next to a local bookstore that he used to wait for someone. He sat there slouched in the corrugated bench and saw that the aspens were absent on 5th and Huckstin. The twilight seeped into the city. Golden dust poured into the crevice streets and the cars quietly glided through intersections. He thought maybe aspens would be planted here soon, and they could see what he would see each twilight. Readers entered and left the store as dusk began to fade out the alleys and darken mirrors of glass. He checked his watch again. The city’s buildings retired from their overtime, and readers and others shuffled back inside. The stillness of dusk was in full bloom. The time where golden light warms and street lamps are still dull. Gentle pigeons glide from rooftop to rooftop rebuilding broken nests for the lightened night. They keep building maybe even alone they build, so that they can live.
He checked his watch. The sound of traffic lights began to flick audibly and the buzz of street lamps began to imitate the golden dusk with incandescent orange. Soon the city was purple. He sat neutral with those weary eyes and thought maybe the buildings mind the pigeons—if they minded the rebuilding. Something so solid can’t be so lenient. Maybe that is what the buildings tell the aspens down on 3rd and 2nd. The pigeons on 5th may have a lot to learn about weak nests. He sat there in purple. The purple seeped into his eyes and he began to close them with crossed arms.
He opened his eyes gently after a while aware of the purple. He checked his watch one more time then slowly got up. Then he straightened out his brown tweed jacket, and walked away from 5th and Huckstin.