Running. With Possum.

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Last night. My sleep app registers 6.5 hours (Tues), 5.3 hours (Wed) and 4.1 hours (Thurs). Recognizing that this trend is unsustainable, I do what Americans do. We medicate. Three Tylenol PM tablets down the hatch and in bed at 9pm. I twist in my earbuds, hit play on Audible and listen to the narration of Stephanie Danler’s new Memoir “Stray.” I’m gone in minutes.

4:35 a.m. this morning. Eyes are pharmaceutically glued shut, but some life force demands that I check the time. Ah, ha. I’ve bent back the sleep curve. And feel like sh*t…

16 consecutive days of morning runs, and I’ll be damned if I was going to break the streak this morning. Because that’s what compulsive obsessives do.

A passage from Danler’s book floats up: “Every addict’s journey follows the same trajectory. It’s an Icarus story: a high that’s unsustainable and then down, down, down.” I think about this for a moment, get the down-down-down part, and wonder: “Where’s my High?”

I’m out the door. 53° F. 5:05 am. Cautiously advancing, one wobbly step in front of the other. Eyes desperately trying to focus, I blink trying to reset but the Tylenol leans in on the eyelids. Eyes water.

The dead possum, has moved from the center of Weed Avenue on Wednesday (photo above), to the shoulder on Thursday (How? Who?), to where this morning? Gone. Did he see the car coming? Did the driver try to swerve to miss him? Did he leave family behind? His front and back feet tucked together, he lay there peacefully, just off the double yellow line. Do not pass on a double yellow line. Do not cross a double yellow line. My God this is morbid.

I run.

An empty pack of Marlboros. Couldn’t find a trash can? You had to throw it out the window? Treat this holy place like a toilet?

A powder blue face mask, soiled, lay on the shoulder. Couldn’t wait to dispose of it properly? Just heave it on the side of the road? 

Low tide.  An Egret dives down.  Comes up empty handed. She steps around a Coke can, and a piece of driftwood, with an end wrapped in discarded fishing line. She keeps fishing.   A Coke can. Fishing line. One giant Garbage can. Poor Possum, saw all this crap and decided ‘Enough is Enough’. Hit me.

Mallards, male and female, partners, sit on breakwall, both watch me pass, look at each other and say: “Look at that sorry, gloomy, SOB.”  

I run.

I advance beyond the slight bend in Weed Avenue and there she comes.

Every morning, no matter what, no matter how much garbage we throw at the World below her, she comes to fire up the Day.

T.G.I.F.

Where’s my High? There she is.

“Today. A brand new day. Never been touched.”

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Notes:

Comments

  1. And…. 17 days in a row. Ah, those were the days Keep running David. The highs will catch up with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    BRAND NEW DAY … Every morning, no matter what … “Every morning, no matter what, no matter how much garbage we throw at the World below her, she comes to fire up the Day. T.G.I.F. Where’s my High? There she is.
    “Today. A brand new day. Never been touched.” …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How come that I just feel desperately sorry for you?
    The possum and rubbish – sad but sadly also not surprising….
    Your compulsive obsessions and obsessive compulsions – covered and/or brushed over with chemical garbage – just saddening. Mostly because nobody can’t help you as you don’t want to be helped…. I am glad however that at least you can acknowledge the daily wonder of sunrise. Hallelujah, maybe there is hope for you! (And if I didn’t care for you, I’d feel much better now.)
    No problem with your writing though. The ‘usual’ 5* fare!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, David… 17 consecutive days?
    I love these posts of yours, you know that. Your reflections, observations, finding the right quote to enhance what you are sharing.
    People are pigs. During my walks/runs (when foot is better) I am always appalled at people’s total disrespect of their home. Because the Earth is our home, isn’t it? Would they throw garbage in their own yard? No. So what the hell?
    I loved that series “Modern Love” and I especially loved Guzmin…
    Keep on keeping on… I feel ya on the sleep thing. I’ve been averaging 5 hours 20-22 minutes. Still haven’t resorted to drugs but am about to. those almost 5.5 hours are all broken up, to boot. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh man. You got me in the gut with this one.

    I love. love. love. how you come around that last corner and there she is.

    If only… those who throw garbage out their windows and leave dead cigarette butts on the road could see that beauty and remember — it is their beauty to cherish and nurture and respect.

    Oh my – “What a wonderful world” that would be. And then, I go in search of Louis Armstrong’s version of What a Wonderful World and find a Playing for Change version with children singing it and I am entranced and watch the whole thing and think — if our happiness is not enough motivation to clean up our act, let’s clean it up for the children. They deserve better!

    And… just because you got me all excited (even with the dead possum lying by the road), I just have to share it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Valerie Meluskey says:

    Feel so-o sad…but love joining with you vicariously. The anthropomorphic comments give powerful witness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tracey Carnahan says:

    Why so sleepless?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracey, I have NO idea. NONE. I wake, the mind begins to whirrrrrr and it’s over. Then the hand reaches for the iPad, then it’s really over.

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    • My mind is a cacophony. It thinks useful thoughts, and for every useful thought it thinks another four hundred useless, repetitive ones, and of those useless, repetitive ones a significant number are toxic. Shoulds and shoudn’ts. Eviscerations of self. Eviscerations of others. Terrors. Regrets. Reprimands. Old arguments. All of it arrives to me as an unedited babble, a firework continually exploding and dissipating, exploding and dissipating. Unedited, unreadable and impossible to assimilate. Just this constant crackling and sparking and exploding of mind.

      — Samantha Harvey, The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping (Grove Press; May 12, 2020)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh boy, I CAN rely to that! I must have missed a few full years of my life with “thoughts processing”, knowing that ALL of it is unnecessary, unhelpful, depriving me of the rest my mind so desperately needs….

        Liked by 1 person

  8. great photo! Get some sleep. Meditate means clearing your mind, not listening to books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Steve Renfro says:

    Between work from home and half furlough days I’m all screwed up. Woke up earlier this week thinking it was Sunday. Turned on the TV, no Sunday shows. It must be Saturday. Nope. It took 5 full minutes of total disorientation to figure out it was Tuesday. Uh-oh, I’m late for Work From Home Day. They can fire me now.
    What was in that burrito last night?
    So now i read this. Was it Monday I took the Tylenol?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved this piece of writing, DK. In a few words, you had me emotionally involved. I knew the feeling of trying to rip my eyes open, of forcing myself to stick with a commitment, of empathy for that poor dead opossum, of anger and disappointment with the garbage insulting our beautiful world (people are such pigs – my apologies to all real pigs out there, I love your bacon), and of that hope a new sunrise brings. Excellent writing. A treat to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Poor possum….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Let me add my voice to the choir, pal. You know how much I love your running ruminations. And one more word for you: magnesium. ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  13. go David 🏃‍♂️ and the Possum Spirit…I do my pranayama practice in the morning …but I prefer CBD for sleep ☺️💫 sending all good things ~ smiles Hedy

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Hedy, love your emojis! Does CBD work?

      Liked by 2 people

      • words can be superfluous right 🧐 😉and yes it works well as a tea or an oil for me…I started with CBD shortly after my mother died in January and with these exciting times in history 🧐🤓🥴I needed sleep…I’ve been fatigued for a while and sleep is my best mediation…my mother was addicted to many not/prescribed pain medicines…from her story I’ve learned not to use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen…unless absolutely needed.🤓

        Liked by 3 people

        • Thanks Hedy. Appreciate the background and context.

          Liked by 1 person

        • skymudra says:

          One thing that most people do not know is that if you take Tylenol PM it will eventually make your ears ring constantly, most people do not realize this and they do not relate one thing with the other but I had the experience that I stop taking the Tylenol PM because I felt I was sleeping too hard too soundly and I didn’t like the idea of not being awake enough if I needed to get up at night so I decided to stop taking it all along when I was taking the Tylenol PM my ears had been ringing for quite a long time then eventually ask the days when by I noticed that that ringing in my ears was completely gone then later on I had to take Tylenol PM because I have some very busy days and some very busy late night at work and I was not getting enough sleep and thinking too much so I took Tylenol PM and soon enough I notice stop the ringing in my ears was loud ass loud as it was before and that’s when I put two and two together I actually try this off and on taking Tylenol PM and not taking it and I finally came up with the conclusion that Tylenol PM will definitely make the ears ring I have told several people that suffered from ringing in the ears and they were taking Tylenol PM to eventually they stopped and the ear ringing stopped with it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • So interesting about Tylenol PM making your ears ring. I haven’t had that issue, but waking up drowsy for 90 minutes is definitely a side affect for me. Thanks for sharing your experience.

            Like

      • skymudra says:

        CBD definitely works there’s no doubt about it.
        Need to try different amounts because it works differently on every single person so there is not like a prescribed dose of how much you should take you have to experiment and see how much of it you can take.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I enjoy your post run observations. Sad about the possum. Do you drink coffee before running that early in the morning???

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ‘And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.‘
    Iain Thomas

    Beautiful sunrise. Reminding us yet again, what is important. 🌈☀️

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Christie says:

    Spectacular & Glorious sunrise…thanks for posting…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. in spite of what we do, don’t do, haven’t done, or will do, the sun will rise again. go easy, young man.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Congratulations on the streak my friend – that said, when I saw the picture I was hesitant about reading. It’s hard to find the high when the mind responds with laser focus on the detritus around us…until the sun makes her presence known, that is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true Mimi. I can’t shake the Possum from my mind. Still. Days later.

      Like

      • Valerie Meluskey says:

        Dear David…animals simply leave…let go when they die. It’s the human way to hold on and hang on, but what good does it do us? So, let’s learn something valuable from the animal kingdom. [or, don’t if there’s some side pleasure in murky guilt…] Ask your own higher wisdom about this…or, don’t…(just going for sanity). As we all keep learning, life is so unpredictable, love while you’re here.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Beautiful, “Today. A brand new day. Never been touched.”

    Like

  20. If only all of us could take this brand new day and make something magnificent of it…treat it with the holiness it deserves. We have that chance every day and your beautiful photo is a reminder of what we are given.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Beautiful photo of the sunrise – that’s the motivation to keep running…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful sunrise! Wow. I, too have thoughts about creatures hit on the road. I, too reflect on the amount of garbage people chuck out the car window. It’s a nauseating spectacle that points to the stupidity of human beings. We are capable of so much more than abject laziness.

    Peace out, DK. 🥺🌿🐾

    Liked by 1 person

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