out(r)ages

i woke up this morning with a seed of an idea planted in my mind. i was going to run six miles–a nice, long run through pine bush’s pastoral landscape.  this kind of run is ideal since i prefer to run continuously and at a clip.  this is only possible outside of the city.  if i’m running in the city, you can bet on finding me waiting, visibly irritated at having to stop at one of the many crosswalks that pepper my usual route.  to prepare for this long run, i caffeinated, hydrated, gobbled down a granola bar, got dressed, and sprayed myself head-to-toe with bug spray and sunscreen. did i check the weather?  did i think to bring a handkerchief?  no, and no.  did i realize just how hot and humid it was going to be?  no, again.

i was about halfway down a dirt road that leads away from the cottage when i felt the first prickle of sweat forming above my brow.  after noticing a furry mound of roadkill blocking my path, i crossed the road. as i trotted past, i took a closer look and noticed that it was a freshly killed rabbit.  this little guy didn’t quite make to the other side.  a harbinger of things to come.

even though my legs felt fast and light, i was completely drenched after the first mile.  i took a few minutes, at mile two, to stop and swipe at my dripping face with the backs of my sweaty hands. without a handkerchief, i couldn’t properly wipe my face (hence the booming handkerchief industry).  the way that i sweat is similar to how a chocolate fountain functions: i sweat from my head, and then it all trickles down.  because of this, all of the bug spray and sunscreen i’d applied earlier snuck its way down my forehead and into my eyes.  a white-hot burning sensation took over, and my eyes welled up with tears.  as i stood there, “crying,” a rusty green minivan crept around the bend in the road.  i made quick eye contact with the elderly woman behind the wheel as she rolled past me.  she looked  concerned.

now, it’s not very often that i end up rage-quitting in the middle of a run. i can run through:

  • wonky knee pain
  • below-freezing temps
  • street harassment
  • flash floods
  • dog shit
  • bad moods
  • street harassment
  • indigestion
  • uneven bluestones
  • clouds of gnats, and
  • street harassment

but when i saw my sorry, sweaty self through another person’s eyes this morning, i realized that it was time to surrender the fantasy of a nice, countryside jaunt.  especially in ninety-degree heat with one-billion percent humidity.

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during the last–and quickest–split of my run, i noticed that the rabbit was gone, save for a few squiggly pink entrails.  a few yards down, three massive turkey vultures ambled about.  it turns out they’d plucked the rabbit apart, and i could sense that they were becoming agitated by my approaching footfalls.  i didn’t know what to do, so i sprinted hard past them like my ass was on fire.  when i reached the end of the road, out of breath and slightly traumatized, i saw that the vultures were already high up in the sky.  baffled, i watched as they soared gracefully away in different directions.

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just the night before, passing thunderstorms created a power outage in the area.  this rendered todd and i without electricity for three hours.  we lurked about the house with our iphones lighting the way until todd found a propane lamp and macguyver’d it to life.  i also convinced myself that the ice cream in the freezer was in imminent danger and needed to be eaten right away.  also, the ice in the freezer for, um…whiskey.  after walking around outside to check on the neighbors, todd and i came upon a stately looking toad.  this little guy was facing the entrance to the cottage.  i snapped this photo as closely as i could to capture his condescending gaze, which said to me, “go home, city slickers.”

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