There’s no stars in the telescope
I must be lookin’ the wrong way
— the prophet adam weiner
When I was a kid, my pappy always said, “If you work in Columbus, you’ll have to run after work.” I never knew what that meant until this week.
I’ve been working on the Columbus Dispatch, desperately fighting the need to say “what the hell do you mean “THE ohio state university” anyhow? It’s a fine newspaper that apparently has yet to get the memo that print journalism is dead. The problem? The shift begins in something called “morning.”
Which means the daily outing is delayed until after work.
So here I am, on the soccer loop in the dark. It’s odd, because there are actually soccer players. Lots and lots of soccer players.
I’m shuffling around at my current 17 minute pace. The sidewalks are illuminated by the floodlights from the futbol games. Not many people are out, just a few walkers, a dog dragging an elderly couple, a woman covered in tape but running a crazy pace. And me.
I remember how much I love evening strolls. Quiet, moonlight, calm. There’s no frenzy, no crazed cyclists, no Serious Runners. Just a quiet hum, like low tide at the beach in Corpus. An hour of quiet contemplation.
There’s no stars in the telescope. Am I looking the wrong way? I don’t think so. I’m happy with life. I’m glad to remain an active participant under the Maude guidelines. I’m glad I haven’t been nailed by a soccer ball. I’m grateful to be in motion, whatever that motion is. None of us knows how long the race is. But I have this evening, this loop, this eternity.
I asked Doctor the Younger about vitamins. He said they’re useless when you’re young, but “after you’ve made a number of loops around the sun, they can help.”
Maybe that’s the metaphor I’ve been looking for. I’m doing loops around the soccer field. They don’t go on forever, but that’s OK. I embrace the mindless repeats of the .40 mile circuit, 12-year-olds Ronaldos, the woman holding an impossible yoga pose in the grass near the course, the camaraderie of life.
It’s a dark night, but a bright future. There’s no stars in the telescope, but that’s OK.
I must be looking the right way.