Every few wrinkles, old friends gather. You know how it goes: you haven't changed a bit believe me, my how your chinese wingnut has grown, are you happy with the prius, the old girl has canine dimentia, dad passed the sign test on the third try darn that macular degeneration, the republicans sure had fun with that empty chair, getting to know medicare parts a b c d, and so forth.
This time we ran in the glow of a blue moon, probably not yet as slow as a certain vice presidential candidate who thinks he ran faster (in his dreams, along with the p90x(?), gotta wonder why he thinks self-revisionism is necessary). To run in next year's boston marathon I'd have to qualify at 3:55. Hey, fellow, race you? If you beat me, I'll consider voting for you, maybe, naw, who are you anyway, you and the guvnuh both?
We gathered at 6 am, in hurley park, same name as on that tee shirt my son gave me because he's now bigger than i or it shrunk, and aimed up hospital hill, its air conditioning unit chugging away like the freight trains at elk cliff farm. My left contact fogged up, or maybe it was the humidity, I was already sweating unlike a pig in my large shorts trying to reach my ankle, having mis-packed my overnight bag. One of us, not i, shot ahead, as usual, look at me, no worse for the wear, so we spoke quietly enough to draw him back, finally we ran together so we could talk, the competitiveness of youth dispatched by longing to belong.
The darkness, feeble memory, or the air hanging thickly moist (sister mary, love that) lost me for moments, remembering fifty years ago when my mother loaded the car with kids for sunday drives and asked us to try to disorient her, turn left, now right, right, left, straight, am i lost yet, and she drove straight home. The 7th street extension, hawkinstown road (with the gold medallion home of which the mother of an acquaintance was so proud), polo drive, and all the once familiar street names returned as we wandered through each others' lives and those reminded by things we passed, silently hoping it will be another ten or better yet twenty before we recite obituaries.
Along the greenway a pack of four or five thirty-somethings streamed toward us and for a moment they carried us back to six-thirty miles, dreams of sub-three-hour marathons, and children in elementary schools. Topping hospital hill, we leaned downward, waiting to see if anyone would pick up the pace as we might have back then, holding steady to show we had finally matured, which we had. High five, guys, another memorable 10-mile run.
"It sounds as if you covered some ground," says Virginia.
In more ways than one, yes.
2 weeks ago