The seams in Nyx’s curtain were only barely visible as I set out from La Casa Verde. For the past three or four weeks, I have stepped forth in this way, always turning left as I reached the end of the walk. This morning, however, I turned right. The construction which had blocked my path (and my classmates’ access to their driveways) is complete, and I wanted to try out the freshly lain concrete.
There was no moon to shine on this new fallen pavement because the clouds, which were quickly descending into fog, completely obscured it. The same moisture brought a humidity to the air which made the ambient temperature feel more like June in Loafer’s Glory than February anywhere. Yet 38 degrees and muggy is what passes for a cold front in Austin.
I turned from the vanilla lane onto more familiar street which I had run on before. These had been part of my early 2 or so mile excursions, a distance which the runner I was several years ago would have scoffed at. 30 or 40 pounds of sedentary weight gain will play hell on your ego. Today, however, was to be a return to form: a weekday run in excess of 4 miles.
The thing about running around where I live is that you are kind of channeled into a north-south pattern. There are major roads to the east and to the west, and there are few interruptions to the regular pattern of residential avenues between them. The only drawback is the regular incline from south to north. Not so much that you always see it, but I always feel it, especially going up. In other words, by starting to the north I can assure that the first part of the run is going to suck.
Although suckage is a relative thing. After several minutes the music in my headphones because audible over my wheezing. I recognized the opening strains of John Hiatt’s “Memphis in the Meantime,” and, being a seminarian, immediately began to look for analogies.
“Maybe there’s nothing happening there / But maybe there’s something in the air / Before our upper lips get stiff / Maybe we need us a big ole whiff”
Air? (Sez J Dot, sezee) Pneuma! Spirit! Let’s go to Memphis and get the Spirit!
And then I was off on a ramble about Joseph talking Mary into taking Jesus down to Egypt (Memphis was in Egypt before it was in Tennessee, right?) So the whole “flight to Egypt” was as much a chance to get filled with the Spirit and try on Italian shoes. Roman sandals were the Ferragamos of their day, after all.
With all of this tumbling through my head, I found myself passing below the Moontower and turning onto Speedway. I was headed south now, and the somewhat imperceptible uphill grade had turned into a somewhat imperceptible downhill. The difference being that, instead of sucking, this run had begun to rock.
To the east, Dawn’s rosy fingers were beginning to poke through the mists of Waller Creek. Cousin John had been replaced by Webb Wilder singing “Human Cannonball,” a paean to the work of Brene Brown. I was surprised to find myself just a few short yards from Casa Verde. Perhaps this running thing may work out after all.