Running. With Possum.


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.


Where’s my High? There she is.

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




  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.


    • 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 2 people

  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 2 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.


      • 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.”


  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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