once in a lifetime

You may ask yourself
“Where does this highway go to?”

— the prophet byrne

“Have a great life!!!”

It was more of an order than a wish. I was running on the front stretch of the bird loop when we passed each other. She lifted both arms over her head and pumped her tiny fists, said hello, and then shouted the exhortation.

I was a bit shocked at the enthusiasm, and the scope. I can deal with a wish for a nice day. But a great life? That’s a bit imposing.

But as I thought about it on the next lap, maybe not. Being told to have a nice day creates a lot of pressure. It’s already 10 a.m. and I’ll be working into the evening on a tight newspaper deadline. How nice could that day possibly be? If I accept a nice-day wish, am I obligated? It’s hard to have a nice day when your hair is on fire.

But a great life? Looking at the calendar, it’s mostly done. If life is a marathon, I’m somewhere around mile 22 and looking around for discarded clif gels by the curb. And it HAS been a great life so far. I’m a lucky guy. I just need to avoid cramping up and barfing over the next few years.

I smiled for the rest of the run. Funny how one brief encounter can turn a crappy run into a great one. Thanks, friend.

I didn’t have time to say it before you walked away, but I hope you have a great life too.

About gary

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