|"If I weren't with you, I would give chase. What a great ponytail!" I tell comrade Kate Abbott after a young lady blasts past us at our mile ~12. "Hmmmm," Kate observes gently, "maybe your eyes are drifting a bit lower than the PONYtail, to, uh, ...?" I deny it, we laugh together, and I confess to past instances of going too fast in similar foolish past pursuits. The girl pauses to stretch, then races by us again. We see her a couple of times later, when she reverses course to run the opposite way from us.|
It's a lovely Sunday morning for four Burke Lake loops with Kate. We talk and trek with early morning mist on the water, sunbeams slanting through the trees, a giant spiderweb above the trail, a great blue heron wading near the far shore, and cyclists, joggers, dog-walkers, pram-pushers, hikers, and flocks of buff young cross-country runners. Our first two laps clockwise, last two CCW.
Although temperatures are in the ~60°F area when we start at 8am, they rise as the sunny morning progresses. Yesterday's evening rain has left puddles on the trail and high humidity in the air. We're both overheating a bit after the first ~4.6 mile loop, and Kate takes off her short-sleeved shirt and lends it to me, to replace the long-sleeved one I was wearing. Coke Zero from Kate's cooler helps us rehydrate. We both begin to stumble more as the miles flow by. In the final stretch Kate trips on something, perhaps a hidden root, and almost falls, but catches my arm and recovers.
When I ask Kate about what I can do to improve myself, she responds with something that's much like the great quote from Joe vs. the Volcano by Ossie Davis's character Marshall, the limo driver who takes Joe to get a good suit: "Clothes make the man. I believe that. You say to me you want to go shopping, you want to buy clothes, but you don't know what kind. You leave that hanging in the air, like I'm going to fill in the blank, that to me is like asking me who you are, and I don't know who you are, I don't want to know. It's taken me my whole life to find out who I am, and I'm tired now, you hear what I'm saying?"
^z - 2013-10-07