It started off badly,
An alarm at four AM
Giving the alert
That it was time for a run.
Commitment was not fully in place
And without school,
There was no reason to go
Other than the chance
To shoot the shiitake with
The troublesome ones in the group.
There were issues getting there, though.
An empty tray of donuts with a smattering of crumbs
Rested on the counter…
A pit bull with a sheepish grin
Sat curled up on the couch,
One eye looking to the kitchen with the right amount
Of pride and doubt.
There was a minor medical emergency
That nearly stopped progress
For sometimes gravity and smooth muscles
Will not be stopped.
Finally, after all the obstacles,
After all the doubt,
After all the negative self-talk,
The run began.
Let it be known,
People like things to be
The way people like them.
Some are decimal people,
Keeping track of minutia.
Others are into whole numbers
Quite happy in the macro world.
Still, there are a few,
Who without much effort
Pick and choose what to ponder in detail,
What to gorge on in quantity,
And what to not give an eff about.
Being one of those is the place of a Libra
Balanced, committed to the center, able to understand all,
The perfect place to know hanky panky
While respecting the laws of decency and morality,
Kind of what the intimacy box is suggesting,
So the trek through the dark
Under the threat of a major snowstorm
Unlike any seen before,
Or at least since the one last week,
Progressed at an easy pace where the conversations
Where more important than the pace of the herd.
The speed perfect, as several, author included,
Complained of dead legs,
Questioning the necessity of liking children, and
The general-specific insanity each of us brings to the group.
The author, a misfit of declining patience
With a conflicting bouquet of acceptance
Wrestled with the idea of ranting about a host of topics
When while chugging up a hill
A moment of clarity from an old high school experience
Resurrected a warmth that raised his soul
(Not really, poetic license.)
Truthfully, the run couldn’t end soon enough
For a rhyme challenged hack.
Coffee was calling.
Running in winter is something,
Sure it’s cold and dark,
But it takes away the intensity of running in the heat.
Don’t think, though, summer running is worse,
Those workouts when the sweat is dripping
Have their own level of satisfaction,
It just isn’t as good as it is now.
Coming in from its run, the herd found their seats,
There’s the first table, one where everyone tries to cram around,
And this morning,
The author, found the group too crowded,
His patience for socializing untouched by the bouquet of acceptance,
And the outer reaches of hanging out
To be more comfortable.
Talk is talk,
Pace, distance, races (not the cultural kinds, running…duh),
Safe stuff, predictable, appropriate.
Eff that, isn’t it more interesting to make fun of hotel amenities,
Trying to make sense of social mores, or
Just laughing at the stupidity of being?
Out there at the second table,
There world was irreverent,
Taken to the gutter where jokes about epidemics
Were accepted in the same way that talk of potential homicidal inclinations
Could be mixed with comedians drinking coffee,
In cars nonetheless, what a great effing idea,
Someone should do that,
What would it be called,
It doesn’t matter, nobody remembers the names of shows anyway.
So that went on for awhile until the 9-5ers had to go.
Then acceptance and social responsibility eased into the conversation
And (no sarcasm here) enlightenment touched the renegade author
Who was working through the adrenaline
Of being stirred up, more upset about the loss of half a lifetime of poetry
At the hands of the worst words that can be used for an ex,
Than thoughts of lost covenants with God or Yahweh
Or whoever makes the marital rules.
Special thoughts were shared, suggestions offered, and a peace that good
Does exist in people.
Of course, this moment passed as well,
The conversation darted back to the absence of snow,
Which had called another day off from school,
Making the author think,
How poxy we had all become.
Still, looking back, this two-part episode
Is super important,
The outright skirting the edge of acceptability,
The precision runners,
The WTF runners,
Those preparing to rake embers in the after-life
All have a place at either table.
Everyone makes four AM bearable.