Friday, 29 July 2011


She's spent days imagining it. If it was a race, how would you describe it? The twenties: changing outfits and shoes, sometimes goofing off entirely or following some beckoning little path just off the main course.

The thirties - and it starts to get serious, finding shoes that fit, making sure the water bottle is full.

Into the forties. "Responsible," she figures, is the key word. Not just your shoes and water bottle, but theirs too...and the going seems long. Some days it's ragged, the perpetual pounding of your feet on pavement a relentless, unstoppable rhythm.

Ah...but into the fifties, there's this second wind. You start to jettison extra weight and you give yourself one Gawd-almighty push. The road starts to slant downward, so it's easier - and you still think you can place so you run faster than you actually can.

At sixty, the road slopes into a valley and the crowd thins. Kicking off your shoes, you stretch out flat on your back and watch the sky. The concept of a race seems hilarious. And you walk, paying attention to the scenery - sometimes fields and forests, sometimes a stretch of burned-out or abandoned buildings - weeds and wildflowers. You figure it out....and it's peaceful and disturbing, amusing and distressing all at once - you understand that the road terminates at the edge of a cliff. And that all runners come here.

And everyone comes here alone.

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