running blues

Hey Blue, here is a song for you
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in

— the prophet Joni

I’ve just made the turn onto the running path that leads along the bay. Sunny day, still pushing 90, tolerable breeze. I savor the air along the waterfront, that sort of mossy, gull poop scent that always greets me here. Until today.

I smell oil paint.

If you have the pleasure of living with an arteest, you are familiar with that smell. Oil paint has a distinct aroma that says, “something great is happening here.” It’s Mo’s favorite smell in the world, although coffee is a close second and likely would sprint to the win should oil paint get a side stitch. Over the years, I’ve grown to love that smell as well. And here it is, on the shore.

I look around, assuming some aspiring artist must be painting a seascape. Nobody. I stop and turn around in a slow 360. Nothing. Huh. I continue the run.


The garmin buzzes at the mile split, and I look down at it. My wrist is covered in blue paint. I look at the other hand. Blue paint as well. Uh oh.

I try to think of what paintings Mo has in progress. I remember there was a painting/collage thing (yes, the Masters referred to their work as “things”) from the weekend sitting around, but it looked dry. There’s a girl with a bird on her head, but she’s orange. The two cats are blue, but long dry. If I have left a paw print in the middle of a masterpiece, I have no idea what it is.

I mount my defense as I run. Paint on my arm? What paint? Why, I am going to dress as a smurf for Halloween, and this is the start of my disguise. Avatar? Um, I’m going as a hipster and dressing as Joni Mitchell’s “Blue.”

OK, I’m a dead man.

Sadly, I go 4 miles without the crazy woman in the white SUV hitting me, so I will be unable to play the sympathy card. I must face the music. The music, of course, being Mo’s Indigo Girls Pandora channel. And isn’t that punishment enough?

Luckily, she won’t be home for a couple of hours, so surely I can repair any damage. I think I learned how in an “I Love Lucy” episode. Come to think of it, pretty much everything I know was learned in an “I Love Lucy” episode. You want some grapes stomped? Give me a call.

As I walk around the abode searching for the source, the mystery is solved.

I always put my watch cradle on a chest in the living room. For some reason, Mo has sat her palette there without me noticing, so my cradle is resting in the middle of the paint. Actually it may not be resting at all. but it’s hard to tell when a cradle is doing planks. So when I got my watch, a good chunk of Mo’s paint came with it. My wrist is now a masterpiece. I am truly the Banksy of South Tejas.

Oh, well. 4 miles at a 12:45 pace, the intoxicating aroma of cadmium and an early start on Halloween. What more could you ask for in a run?

A smurfy day indeed …



About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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