well, hello there
good old friend of mine
you’ve been reaching for yourself
for such a long time
there’s so much to say
no need to explain
just an open door
for you to come in from the rain
— the prophet carole bayer sager

Another round of tossing shoes.

It’s not you; it’s me. honest. every now and then i go through the shoe pile and toss the ones i only ran in a few times. i never really dated, but i guess this must be what it’s like to look back on an old girlfriend. they seem like nice enough shoes, but something didn’t work. some rub, some lean, some clunkiness. something that caused me to discard them after a couple of tries.

every now and then i will pull an old pair out, on a rainy day or when my legs need a change, and invariably the problem will return. a bloody achilles, a blistered big toe, a hot spot on the pad of my right foot. too snug, too loose, too blue, too something. and they go back to the little island of misfit toys, never to get another chance.

and then it’s time. i tie the laces together, throw them in a bag, and take them to goodwill. someone will look at the new balance $130 leadvilles and asics trail fujis, virtually unworn, and decide whether they’re really worth 10 bucks, or should they go with the bobblehead hula dancer. (advice from longtime runner: ALWAYS go with the bobblehead hula dancer.)

the shoes look up at me, hoping for a second chance. they did their best; i know that. but if they don’t work, they don’t work. you can’t force love.

so they go into the bag, memories of what could have been the perfect relationship. i sigh, tie the bag, and set it carefully by the door.

it’s sad to see them go. i wish things had worked out. i hope they’ll be ok. it’s not you, it’s me. honest.

this is likely why i never dated …

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just another friday night at the Ass Bar

one day, you’re a hopeless introvert wondering how you ever got involved with a bunch of crazy artists.

the next day, you’re wondering how you could ever possibly live without them.

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living with an artist, part 12

longtime readers will recall that mo was torn between curt cobain and georgia o’keeffe as the subject of an homage for an upcoming show. but as we walked out of the studio late that night, nirvana’s “teen spirit” came blasting out of the country bar next door, a Certain Sign. one does not trifle with signs. 

naturally, she switched immediately to o’keeffe. because she’s an artist. and that’s what artists do. 

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things i wish i had said, part 61

If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

— Vincent Van Gogh

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life is funny, part 366

she knows i’m right. she just needs a sign.

we’re up in the studio. mo is painting something randomly to avoid a project with a looming deadline. she’s supposed to paint an homage to a famous person who influenced her life and passed away.

for mo, that person is curt cobain.

she once explained it to me this way: think of you and lennon. that’s me and cobain. oh.

mo was in seattle when nirvana was born. she loved cobain because he was from aberdeen, a modest washington town. it was like they had the same roots. she loved his music, but also the idea that a normal guy from a little town she drove through a lot could succeed. a hopeful thought for an artist. mo is also kicking around frida and georgia o’keeffe, but i’m thinking cobain is the one who really resonates with her.

she isn’t sure she wants to do it. she has a great concept going with a guitar, but she isn’t feeling it. we kick around some ideas and she reluctantly thinks maybe. i’m thinking, come on, it’s cobain. you HAVE to. she says maybe, carrying the guitar out of the studio to stare at from home for a while. clearly, she’s undecided. i’m having my doubts.

we walk out of the studio, down the alley and come out next to the bar next door. they have speakers outside that play a constant mix of sports and bad country music.

and then.

as we step onto the sidewalk, curt’s distinctive riff for “smells like teen spirit” comes blaring into the night.

we lean back against the k space wall and listen. that angst and passion. reliving the first time to hear it, knowing hair bands were done and this was the sound you’d hear for another year or decade or lifetime. it’s one of those moments you could never plan, and that you could never forget.

i found it hard, it’s hard to find
oh well, whatever, never mind

the last chord fades and segues into a song about dogs in pickups with whiskey bottles. we look at each other and shake our heads, still slightly skeptical that this happened at all.

she knew i was right. she just needed a sign.

we get in the car and drive home.

life is funny …

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just another run with wings

“The answer to the big questions in running is the same
as the answer to the big questions in life: Do the best with what you’ve got.”

— the prophet sheehan

you get all bogged down with wah wah woe is me i’m slow and my knee hurts, until you show up at a race where the participants are positively beaming because they’re able to be out on the course with a little help from their angels. you realize it’s all relative. you take what you have and make the best of it. that’s what i did. with a little help from my angels.

sometimes i love running.

and sometimes  i love it even more.







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mo still keeps books on her nightstand. that’s why i love her.

that, and her Secret Taco Recipe. ok, mostly that second one.

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