Walking. With Raspberry Syrup. (Part 1)

4:35 a.m. I pull into the parking lot. It’s been 805 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 805 days, like in a row. 800 days from now, will I still be doing this? 

Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ “The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir” is pumping into my head. “The grooves of thought that surfaced, the tracks our minds insisted running on, catching always at the same places.

I strap on the backpack.

I walk.

There’s a deep pull in my right calf. What the hell is that?  I keep walking. Stop. Reach downward, feeling the back of my leg, careful not to let the weight of the backpack tip me over.  It’s tender.  Wow. WTH is this?

I walk.

But, I can’t shake it. Mind scurries in search of the root cause of This. Ah yes.

Leg cramp, 1 a.m. Deep leg cramp, that just won’t let go. I roll over, but it won’t release its grip, tightening and tightening. I struggle to get up, then get upright, then apply full pressure through the grip.

It begins to ease.

I sit on the edge of the bed, breathing heavily.

I replay yesterday’s intake:

  • Couldn’t have been the 4 pieces of Susan’s birthday cake.
  • Couldn’t have been the 4 packages of Welch’s Mixed Fruit Gummies. Yummy gummies, fruit juice coating my teeth and tongue, slithering down my throat.
  • Couldn’t have been the 3 bottles of Zero Sugar Snapple Lemon Tea. Zero-Sugar. Right. 
  • Couldn’t have been the heaping bowl of Vanilla Bean Häagen-Dazs ice cream topped with chopped nuts and Stonewall Kitchen Raspberry Syrup. Flashback, way back, to the DQ Sundaes, dripping with strawberry sauce. But this Stonewall stuff, this syrup, is altogether at another level. If there was a God, there is no doubt he bathes in this.

So, back to the leg cramp. I turn to slide under the covers, and there she is, sleeping. She’s got her eye mask on.  She has her ear plugs in. She hasn’t shifted, she hasn’t moved, her soft snore continued uninterrupted through it all as she dreamt about bunnies playing in the grass or some sh*t like that.

And here, like 2.5 feet from her, a mere 3 minutes ago, her husband of almost 40 years is freakin’ dying.  I’m mean DYING.  He’s rollin’ around moaning, I mean MOANING.  It could have been a heart attack for God sakes. Take all that bloody sleep gear off, get your ass up and give me CPR or Something.

I listen to her soft snore.

Till death do us part.

I was seconds from that.


  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:15 am, July 19, 2022. 71° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning’s walk here.


  1. hilarious retelling, sorry. love hearing your stream of consciousness ramblings from your head. how many of us think but rarely put down in print. nothing worse than a leg cramp at night and no one to dramatize the event with

    Liked by 2 people

  2. OMG, you’re so dramatic! You have woken me more times than I can count with your snoring, leg cramps AND digital devices pouring light into our sacred place of rest – hence, the ear plugs and eye mask. I’m trying to keep the peace while you’re disrupting mine! Sweet dreams….

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Do I keep my mouth shut and wait until after Part 2?
    Or do I shred you to pieces now?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Anonymous says:

    Laughing out loud, tears streaming down my face!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sorry but this is funny!! It’s usually the other way around at our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Did not expect that story, after that quote – you are so funny.

    P.S. you know you are a great writer when you can engage all your readers’ senses. I could almost taste that raspberry sauce!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ha! The description of your saga reminds me that last night my husband slept all the way through a series of texts, a phone ringing, a conversation (my father is in palliative care) and me, rather noisily removing myself from the bedroom to settle on the sofa downstairs. Hope the leg cramps are better. I read an article a while back about the anti-inflammatory diet and I don’t think it includes cake and ice cream. Maybe raspberry sauce though … it is a fruit, isn’t it? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hilarious 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  9. niasunset says:

    Yes, it is so dramatic and leg cramps are really serious problem, I know this. But also you expressed so funny, I laugh (not only you) to ourselves too… Nothing changes, man/woman or woman/man… Drink plenty of fluids, dear David, I also wonder part 2 too. Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A sip of lemon juice makes the cramp disappear fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happiest of birthdays Susan! Long may you enjoy the benefits of sleep masks and sweet dreams…If David is anything like my spouse (and in this regard, I think he is), he will definitely wake you if he needs you, but the high drama of being found writhing in cramped distress is a compelling scene – if only one would wake. Forty years is no small accomplishment – especially when one considers all the trauma. Love to you both…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. LOL!! I’m so glad you lived! I don’t know if it will counteract your inflammatory sweets intake, but Dr. Google suggested dill pickles or pickle juice when the calf or thigh turns angry boulder alien. It works! (Runners in the family use it.) Daughter suggests muscle cramps are from too low magnesium, so, powdered (for me) / peanut butter for a couple of days. What beautiful photos today (again)! Exquisite!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You got married at what age? You’re 53-55?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. OK… Now that I have stopped laughing and going through all the comments because – you get the best ones!
    First off… when you get a cramp, hobble your way to the cold bathroom floor, you will be able to slowly put your foot down and the cramp will go away.
    Second, I second the motion that you needs must drink more water and um… wow. I got a cavity just reading all the shit you ate!
    Susan’s patience with you is amazing. Drama Queen that you are!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. All of you are a riot…. what a joy to read and laugh with…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Loved this post and the comments! Laughing through the pain and all that! Btw, try stretching out the leg and flexing your toes backward, I find it’s infallible.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Aging and random body anomalies seem to go hand in hand. Wish this were less true than it is.
    However, after years of hands-on work with clients, I can tell you that the calf is nearly always, nearly Always dehydration. Esp with all that sugar and chemical flooding, what can I say about that except you know already and it’s not my job to police your diet (heaven forbid). You need even More water after imbibing. Pure water. Fake zero calorie whatever does not count. Strange paradox is that the older we get, the more we just say fuck it, but it’s the grand dramatic irony of instant karma or something that we can be belligerent, but. we. suffer. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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