Holiday Road

Labor Day. Second run of the season. Around the neighborhood. This is what I found:

26 cents and a nub of blue sidewalk chalk. This is a clear indicator that the spirit folk in my neighborhood are in need of some structure. Some direction. And they were willing to pay me for my time but kept it within reason by limiting the amount of chalk. Savvy.

I obliged them. I took the money and the chalk. I wrote messages for them all over my driveway and carport, along with directions to points of interest (cigar lounge, turd cemetery) and some warnings (offside, spider habitat).

But that was after I got home. Fresh off my Copperhead Encounter I was alert to wildlife in the area during the run. Ready for action. Other than the usual squirrels and birds I ran into five stray cats. That’s a lot for a short run. The first three boinged off the road as I approached and cowered in the bushes under the Virgin Mary. One can only imagine that finding themselves in times of trouble, she came to them speaking words of wisdom. I let them be. Fourth cat was a loner. He/she lounged at the base of a tree and gave me the stink eye as I ran past. The last one sat loaf-of-bread style under the bumper of a pickup and blinked in perfect nonchalance. Not much action in the ‘burbs.

But then I turned a corner to find a tall white-haired grandpa letting his pooch out to pee in the front yard. He was wearing a full-length long-sleeve woman’s housecoat. The kind grannies wear; zips up the front, collar and cuffs. Voluminous. Velvety. Only this one was bright purple so it looked like royal robes flowing around him as he strolled in the grass.I bade him Good Day. He responded in a regal baritone. I named him Viscount of Velvet Androgyny.

Back in my competitive days I always kept a running log, tallying up mileage and mile splits and overall pace and such. Those days are gone though. I don’t accumulate enough weekly mileage to lose count anymore and I’m never in danger of overtraining these days. Since I no longer train for races I also have no training programs to follow, so no mandatory number miles must be run on a certain day. There’s really no point in keeping a running log anymore.

Except for things like this; though it’s less about the running and more about all the other things that happen while I’m running. The month of September’s log is already fabulously populated and I’ve only run twice.

Sept. 1st — Copperhead

Sept. 3rd — 26 cents, 5 cats, dude looks like a lady

This is pretty much why I get by just fine without a running partner. The human kind, anyway.

— Mercy


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