Monday, August 6, 2007

Of Prunes and Bats

As a result of excessive prune eating, my stomach was turbulent yesterday. I waited until 8:30 pm to make my run happen. Noah suggested that I do a small loop first. That way, I am never too far from home in case I have to go. It sounded like a good idea, so I headed out, adopting the mentality of “one mile at a time.”

I chose to start downhill, because downhills shake things up. If I have to turn around for the bathroom, I’d rather go uphill and not shake things up. Everything happens for a reason. So, I ran down to Mt. Airy at an easy pace, and after a mile, I felt that if I maintain this speed and effort, I probably would be okay running nine more miles. So, I hooked up with the 10 mile route we took one week before the marathon with packed snow on the ground, a tour through the outer parts of Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill.

With my stomach mostly calm, I had the nightly things to worry about, namely: (1) darkness, (2) headlights, and (3) bats. The part of the run through Chestnut Hill was spooky. The streets are empty and dark, thanks to the trees that grow under the street lamps. I could barely make out what I was stepping on, which was mostly rocky sidewalks. Stepping through this region, I was reminded that I own headlights, and had I remember to bring them, I would've been spared this blair witch experience.

When I got to the McCallum Street Bridge, I decided to switch on to the road surface, which is much smoother. That was a bad idea. One car swooshed by and decided to yell loudly into my ear as it passed, even though I was running on a different side of the street. Forget Mace, I wish I had a horn to startle them back. Then, several cars turned on their high beams as they approached, completely blinding my eyes. Cars: There is no need for high beams straight on. In fact, cars are supposed to switch to low beams if they see another car approaching, so as not to blind the drivers. But apparently, runners' eyes have immunity. Not. Do I need to wear my sunglasses at night? I put up my hand in a visor-light gesture. I just felt like being rude.

Fortunately, I remembered that I have some music by Girlyman with me. I put on their new CD, pushed up the pace, and ran up Seminole Road towards the northwest corner of the gun loop. I calmed down a bit, but then I started hearing this loud squealing sound from all directions. "epppp....epppppp.....eeeppppp." It wasn't a halloween tape, because not all houses can have the same tape. I ruled out “sim,” this insect that gets noisy at night in Hong Kong. And I just know they're not birds, even though I couldn't see them. I was totally scared. This area normally feels kinda enchanted, but today it was as if I was wandering in a zoo at night, with the animals out of the cages and the zookeeper asleep. Seriouly, a mouse crossed the street right in front of me. The sky started to rain. And I was left to conclude that the sounds came from waterproof bats.

I hurried home. And last night when I slept, I dreamt that Agnes, who does not read Harry Potter, reads Harry Potter. Weird.

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