emily dickinson’s fly

i’m on the w.b. ray high school track. 6 mile hm pace run. miles is miles.  it’s just another run, with one exception. or two. or four. 

i’m listening to an album called “please please me” by a band called the beatles (yes, that’s the way they spell it.) it’s christmas day, a day after the band finally graced spotify with their presence. i’m listening to the albums in chronological order, and this is the first one. i have come to the conclusion: these guys suck. 

oh, i suppose they’re ok. but i’ve listened to it four or five times before today’s run, and there’s not much i’m looking forward to. i saw her standing there is a good running song. but chains? are these guys such hacks they have to lean on carole king for songs? and their twist and shout is an ok cover, but lennon is no ferris bueller. great harmonies, but they tend to stick the vocals on one side or the other because, well, it’s stereo, and they can. i don’t know. i guess i’ll give the second album a chance, but i’m skeptical. 

the hm pace (12:00) comes easily, which i guess is a good sign i’m on the right track. the right track being lane 4, the mama bear of the running track. 

i love running loops. the purity of that never-ending white line. zach bitter, who set an american record on the track last weekend in phoenix (11:40.55), said it best in his race report after the event: 

Another intrigue to me has been something that has been innate for some time, which is running at its most basic form. No need to navigate, dodge, hike, scramble, hurdle, and the like. Just run. Think of nothing but putting one foot in front of the other.

and that’s what i did for 4 miles. one foot in front of the other. and then. a pack of dogs wandered onto the track. two pups and two worrisome pit bulls. not from the neighborhood; i know the locals. these were turistas.  i thought i was ok till the pit bulls decided to rip each other’s throats out. bared fangs, full fight mode. pups looking on wondering what the hell. then they all looked at me. 

i walked slowly backward, marking my territory ad i peed my shorts. emailed vrb to say 6 miler turned out to be 2 miler. but then.  the pack moved on to terrorize the next neighborhood. two football guys and a Fast Runner pulled up. four on four, and likely only one of us would shriek like a little girl under attack.

i found a rock just in case, went back to those liverpool guys whining about anna, and finished the other 2 miles. 

The track puts forth a final characteristic that cannot be matched: complete exposure, zach said.  You cannot hide on a track. Every strength, weakness, and physical and mental struggle is on full display for whomever desires to watch.

  amen. i just wish the spectators didn’t have fangs.   


About gary

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