The training for eggshell walking is very simple. Every time you step on an eggshell, a calamity befalls you. Treading lightly as you may, you will inevitably step on a shell. You will then be struck by lightning. It will not be pleasant. The electricity will rip through your body and burn a hole in your shoe. Be careful that you don’t bite your tongue off.
It will not take long for you to understand that every eggshell holds a calamity. Earthquakes. Flaming meteors. Murderers. Mind-numbing nausea. A dog hit by a car. There may even be one that gives birth to a tiny chick with three heads and hemorrhagic fever, just because the eggshell gods think it’s funny to watch you deal with that little joke.
By the time you are halfway through, you have dropped your pace from ‘how hard can it be’ to ‘when will it end’. It no longer matters if the crinkled ground conceals mere air horn blasts or spider kisses. Each white, innocent shell holds a Schrödinger’s cat; you cannot know what surprise awaits in the crumbled carbonate pear.
Slow as you are, it is impossible to miss other humans whizzing past – reckless, heedless, unafraid harbingers of chaos. You know they didn’t care what grades they got in school, or whether they were on time. How do they do it? Don’t they care?
How confusing it is now, to watch others fly by, stomping millions of delicate, crisp little shells beneath their feet, calamities booming all around them like a battlefield – yet on they go, cheerfully thrusting their feet into piles of white calcium as if they were children on their way home from school, tossing autumn leaves in every direction, and enjoying the delightful, crunchy effects of their mischievous shuffling.