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.


Notes:

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

Running. With Cream and Cheese. (TMI)

red-smoke

The Fast was not part of any religious experience, ‘Tis the season, but the execution of a containment exercise. We order cocktails before dinner.  Rachel was giddy in her counter: “the Dimwit thinks that skipping lunch is a Fast.”  There’s no point in arguing with the closed-minded so I sit quietly sipping my tap water watching the mocking escalate, with Mother and Son now piling on. Who’s she calling a Dimwit? Who raised this thing?

Yet, I knew.  I just knew, a bad outcome was coming.  The late night dinner was preceded by a full day in the Sun and an empty stomach following the end of my Fast.  My Fast.

I open with warm bread rolls (and who’s counting after three) – all carefully lathered with cheesy butter and baptized in virgin olive oil squeezed from some tree on an arid hill in Greece.  This was followed with a Caesar salad, fresh crispy greens, a light-just-right Caesar dressing and razor thin strips of Parmesan cheese cultured from some cow grazing on a hillside in Southern Italy.  The knife and fork then worked the entrée, a heaping portion of three-layered eggplant lasagna topped with cheese, broiled to a golden crisp.

This was chased down with three intermittent spoonfuls of Rachel’s garlic mashed potatoes, with the buttery succulence coating my tongue and lips. In my fourth attempt, the sharing was shut down: “Dad, ENOUGH!” – batting my spoon back and moving her dish beyond my reach.  [Read more…]

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