What do you say to someone whose significant other died unexpectedly in the middle of the night? Let’s go for a run. Because we’re runners. That’s what we do.
Sure, she’s not really there. Sure, she’s way faster than you. But sometimes the company is more important than the pace. Today is one of those days.
You run along together, sharing memories and smiles and tears. She tells you about the hippie run, you tell her about the bees. You talk about what it’s like to be old dogs in a young pup’s game. The mechanics of running with a pineapple. The intricacies of skeleton costumes. You spend a lot of time quiet, just thinking. Sometimes just thinking is good.
You drift off to God or Sheehan or running spirits or Buddha or SpongeBob. Something to hang on to when the air is leaking out of the life raft. Sometimes that thing is each other.
It’s a good run, an honest run. As the sweat dries, you think about how fleeting life is. How you just never know. How you always tell yourself to live each day as if it might be the last, and how often you forget.
Enjoy every sandwich, the Prophet Zevon said. I guess it’s true with runs, too.
I’m so sorry, mj. This pineapple’s for you. and jim …