Running. Running Hot.

running-road-alone

Mile 0: Lori.

Lori slings out the bait: “It’s time for a run! Lace up those PF Flyers and get out there, man! The world (OK *I*) needs another running post!”  This challenge comes from a writer, no, a professional Writer. I do wonder, did she send the text from the Stop & Shop counter while flipping through The Enquirer?

She’s a blogger acquaintance.  We’ve never met. A lover of Dogs. A writer. A reader. A traveler. An Ivy Leaguer, stealthily unadvertised – someone who you would underestimate  – the kindness overpowering.  Would I recognize her if she walked by me in Grand Central Station? Is she tall or short?  Why does she follow along? Rubbernecking syndrome?

She baits me, I jump.
Could I be that simple?
Am I that shallow? Or is it “Callow?”

I can feel the weight of her eyes, her mind on these words – this sentence separator, whatever you call it – a Big Dash, a Double Wide Dash, A Long Dash.  But she’ll know. She’ll whisper, “It’s an x Dave.

Pavlov’s hand is stretched, reaching. I stand in her shadow.

It’s ‘Callow.’ (Should it be a double quotation mark?  A single? Should it be inside or outside the period?  The fullness of her weight, too much.)

I walk out the door.
I run.

Mile 2: Random Playlists.

What magic hand selects the random songs from my iTunes playlist? Is it so random?

Stones / Beast of Burden: “I’ll never be your beast of burden. My back is broad but it’s a hurting…I’ve walked for miles my feet are hurting…Am I hard enough…Am I rough enough…I’m not too blind to see.”  My mind slashes words that don’t fit the narrative.  The feet do bloody hurt.  I’m soft like a jelly filled donut.  Oh, and I’m certainly rough enough and not too blind to see.

Mile 4: Pain.

Three months off. You know the drill. Play catch up all in a single run.  The winter hibernation brings its rewards.  Let’s take a high level inventory:

Skin rubbing raw between toes. Toe nails slamming into toe caps. Polyester sweat-whisking running shirt peeling the ever so thin membrane off my nipples. This chafing all in harmony with the tightening of the groins, the thighs and the lower back. And it’s all hanging together by a thread.

There’s a rusted iron drainage grate twenty yards ahead.  I can’t chance a foot jam, an ankle turn, or worse, a fall into the abyss. I run to the left of it, my heavy footfall is sucked downward into the soft mud, a brown wet dirt line slops over my socks and decorates my ankles. I slop and slosh forward.

Yet one has to be grateful. I didn’t fall into the abyss, and I remained, somehow, standing, and in forward motion.  A header was averted.

Mile 6: Have you given up?

I’m running uphill. It’s a one mile stretch.  20 yards ahead a woman turns onto my street.  Tall. Lanky. Hot orange Lulamon tights. Matching shoes. Sleek running jacket. Her hair, long, is neatly wrapped in a hair tie, white contrasting with Orange – a mannequin at Macy’s.

I look down. I’m missing two critical wardrobe selections – oversize running shorts over my sweatpants yanked up over my belly, and long over-the-calf black socks, and I would be unanimous choice for Middle Aged Running Man Given Up.

I watch her. From behind, with gap increasing. Her long gait. Hair bobbing on her back. No chance I can catch her. No chance.

Damn woman didn’t even pause.  Not even a 45° turn for a glance or glimpse. I get an advance look at my future. And don’t like it.

Mile 7: Burn Baby Burn.

Home stretch. Exhaustion brings one closer to the soul. Who said that?

Slow down. Cool down. Walk it back.
What is that?
“Lightly child, lightly.”
What is that?

This Man’s warm spot runs Hot, not gentle or light. A Meteor. A Fireball. Ablaze. A streak of light, spinning, hurtling ahead. Hurt, and be hurt. Tight. Anxious. Unforgiving. Angry. Melancholy. Bright light and jet black darkness, and sometimes all in the same minute.  Never looking back, but for replaying mistakes and regrets.

Home has not been at the Center, its been on the Edges, on the Ledge.
It is “Become” not “Be” for Me.
IT is Become not Be, for ME.
It is not acceptance of Be but an acceptance of Become that will bring lasting Peace.
Rotating, rotating, rotating, hurtling forward.
Sparks flying.

Until…

It’s Time,
When His hand comes from Above and behind,
With a deft single stroke
His giant candle snuffer smothering.
There’ll be no embers, no smoldering, no smoke, no ashes.
I catch His eye, smile wide, grateful for the ride
and move
From Burning Hot to Cold and Out.

Time Check: 7.6 miles. 74.5 minutes.

Nap Time.


Notes:

Comments

  1. I’m a bit exhausted just reading this. You went past the 7 mile mark. Good for you. ☺ Most impressive. And…hope you took that nap.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m speechless!
    and this hardly ever happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i’m impressed that 7 miles plus is a return to the road after a long absence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, DK, so honored to have been your muse. Just a little bit of goading, er I mean inquiring, and you’re pounding the pavement once more. And 7 miles after a long term hiatus?! Pal, you are rockin’ it! Nap well earned! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. See how much power you have Lori to change the world! I’m impressed but I am not surprised. 🙂 As for you Mr K, good on you for taking the challenge but I bet you are felling very sore and sorry. Did you not perhaps think to build it up after 3 months resting on the couch ha? Your writing is brilliant and you always have us taking each breath with you. “It is not acceptance of Be but an acceptance of Become that will bring lasting Peace.” So true.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Impressive!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m still raging…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is a lifetime of goodie in this one.
    Marveling at how Lori’s slide-by comment targeted just…the…right… soft spot. A genetically manufactured SCUD (Does she know him THAT well? Or is that Soft Spot actually system-wide, purulent mange?).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Feeling the good juju from your run — even though I’ve sat through the whole thing. Keep it going!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve not been a good follower…this is my first post in awhile…a TREAT! Thank you, David. I’m trying to get back into shape, too, although our strategies are different…a couple miles a day for me, all I can seem to eek out, and all my body can handle. Was in Grand Central a couple of weeks ago…and kept an eye out for you, thinking I’d recognize you if you passed by. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Smiling. Good to hear from you Vicki. I wish I could have the discipline of getting after it every day. Just haven’t managed to do so….sorry I missed you at Grand Central. 🙂

      Like

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