I’m running on the track. Sub-12, pleasant day, body feels great. It’s a perfect run.
Then the police car pulls up. And just sits there.
I have asked the coaches at the school repeatedly if it’s OK to use the track during school hours. I am repeatedly met with a reassuring “Absolutely!”
So why is this police officer absolutely parked and absolutely watching me?
Maybe cop cars just park in this neighborhood to eat lunch. Maybe it’s shady. Maybe it’s a coincidence that they always show up at exactly the same time as me. Maybe Justin BeeBee really did get sick from drinking milk before his show.
But I know only two absolutes in life: Little Feat wasn’t really Little Feat at all after Lowell George died, and it’s not much fun running when a police officer is watching you while possibly or possibly not checking the charge on his Taser.
I’m a journalist. I read the stories every day about the bad things that happens to kids. If I were a parent I wouldn’t want me running on the track during school hours. But the siren song of the track always calls. Sooooo soft.
Mo says I should just politely knock on the window and ask what’s up. But that would require social interaction, which I run in order to avoid. So I just keep running.
I make it through two miles before giving up. I come off the track and run down the road where he’s parked. I run past the car in that defiant “I just happen to be leaving anyhow and it has nothing to do with the laser beam that may or may not be trained on my chest” way. He is pretending to shuffle through some paper work. I halfheartedly trot home.
Many years later, they referred to that day as The Last Time He Ever Ran on the Track. This could be the beginning of The Magnificent Treadmill Streak. Yes, everything seems just a little more important when you capitalize the first letters.
Although I’ve always been curious what it would be like to get nailed with a Taser while running …
2.75 miles, r/t, 1:30 p.m. (83-57, 40)
11:26, 11:37, 8:50