The Walk: The Art of the Wave


I used to run around willy-nilly and use words like willy-nilly. I was a kid, living in the country-side. Then, five years ago, I moved to a city, then another and another.

This isn’t so bad, I think, making my way along a road in some green corner of Finland. I’ve been here twenty-four hours. The closest shop is two kilometers, I was told. I’ve got free time, so, I walk. The sun is out. It is the Finnish sun; St. Petersburg’s less temperamental cousin. I’ve brought my music with me: Whitney Houston.

As I walk I realize how colorful everything is. The word vibrant pops into my head. I suddenly realize that I haven’t thought, or spoken the word vibrant since I arrived in Russia.

“Vibrant,” I say aloud. It sounds weird, I put it away.

A car drives by. Instinctually, I shy away. The driver gives me a wide birth, he slows and then does something incredibly odd.

He waves.

My hand, not use to the gesture, hangs rudely at my side. I keep walking, I make a promise to myself that I will wave to the next driver. It doesn’t take long. A minute at most.

Over-eager, I hold my hand high and shake it wildly. The driver slows, stops.

“Oh, uh–sorry,” I call through the window, “I was just waving.”

The driver, a woman, smiles. She nods and drives on. I take a deep breathe. I look around.

“You used to know how to do this,” I remonstrate myself.

Across a field are some horses. I wave to one of them, casual. with a polite lilt that says, “howdy neighbor,” or the less creepy Finnish equivalent. I try again, then again. The horse doesn’t judge.

Finally, well-practiced, I trek onward. Perhaps two minutes later another car approaches, it is blue. I take a quick breath and lift my hand. I even give a little head-nod with it, as though I’ve suddenly become a natural.

The man, or maybe a woman–they are old–waves with half their hand on the steering wheel. I put my hand down, cool-like.

I wait till I can no longer hear the car. Then, I start to dance. I hit play on Whitney and up-my pace. I start singing aloud, throwing waves out to everything I see; flowers, horses, trees, clouds, bees; yes, even bees.

The country-side is lovely, I think, half-way to the store.


Author: Flash-365

Author Benjamin Davis and artist Nikita Klimov created one story and one picture each day for one year. In May 2018 they published their first book, The King of FU

27 thoughts

  1. A real feel-good story …. nice! It is astonishing how you be touched by such small things you consciously accept. Und winken ist etwas sehr Bejahendes! Just last week I was waiting in a fast food restaurant, the waiter jumped behind his dresen and pulled me out on the arm:” They make war, come! ” I was quite irritated, then he said: “wave!” And then came a military parade and I waved and the waiter was happy and the soldiers too. In the evening, I discovered a little girls at the window in the neighbourhouse, who was watching me. I waved to her too. Well, kids waving often. Oftentimes, I know the reaction already. She hesitated for a moment, then wake back and hid behind the curtain, looking carefully. Then we have been waving for a while until her mother has taken her away from the window. Thank you for the beautiful story!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m from a small town (just below 200K people maybe), and it’s not uncommon for people to wave or acknowledge each other with a subtle brief honk, when driving by. But that’s because most people know each other, and tend stick to their usual daily routes – waving to strangers would likely make you look like a weirdo, as in most small places in Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I wonder what Russians who move to small towns in America think. It is fairly common to just casual wave to strangers. I can certainly imagine that not going over too well in Russia, at least in my experience. true.


      1. Yeah, probably don’t try it 🙂
        As for Russians in smaller American towns – depends on the person, I guess. Living in a town just outside of a major US city, and seeing people in the neighborhood casually nodding and sharing a smile with me felt very welcoming, so I always smiled back. Gives a sense of being a part of the community – nice feeling.


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