A Bit of Running Advice

So today I went running and while running, stride by stride, I thought it would be a nifty idea to take a new route from my usual one of leapfrogging over fences and through the backyards of fellow suburbanites and occasionally surging in through their unlocked backdoors while they stare in surprise with their forks in their hands and food suspended in midchew as I dash by them in the suddenly silent midst of interrupted conversations of what did you do at school today and how about those Leafs/Jays/Raptors or cold today, isn’t it, and please pass the butter, and out through the front door with the family toy poodle nipping at the back of my ankle trying for my Achilles Heel, but little does the little dog know that to get to that it has to get into my soul and for that it is simply not equipped psychically to dive deep into that sea of flotsam and sunken cities of memory and find my insecurities like wetting my pants at nursery school or, worse, wetting somebody else’s, and just how would that happen, exactly;  so as I was running, I, as I said, took a new route from the one elaborated above, which for all the excitement inherent in that approach, had come to feel a little boring, as there are only so many strangers’ homes you can streak through and get an adrenaline rush before the thrill wears off, so I left my house in my brand new sneakers and stopped traffic;  that is, I was wearing brand new sneakers and I STOPPED traffic, rather than  I was WEARING stopped traffic, as that would mean I would be splattered in the grille of a vehicle stopped by me, or I would perhaps be squashed between two vehicles and that would be no good thing, and how would I be narrating this exactly;  and as I ran and stopped traffic, surprised eyes stared out at me from mundane tasks like shovelling the driveway and then I realized I had only my sneakers on;  well, so what?  What else does a runner need in this world except for his running shoes?  So on I went jogging though I felt a bit cold below the waistline, I must admit, and so I will, and in fact just did admit, and after I got down the street  I pried loose a manhole cover and climbed down the rusty, skinny ladder, landing in runny, filthy water filled with dirty icy flotsam and jetsam, and so I merrily splashed along getting my aerobic fix until I heard ahead of me a chiming chorus of bells, bells, bells, bells, like in that Edgar Allen Poe poem, and then I realized that was just in my head but what an interesting incongruity that forms so it stays, bells in my head chiming and that’s when I turned the corner and came upon a fancy parlour, vaguely Edwardian, with fin de siecle European aristocratic types with white military jackets and monocles and medals and wigs and waxed and teased moustaches sitting around the mahogany table discussing politics and art while sipping port and smoking cigars and pipes, and they took no notice of me whatsoever even though I pulled up a chair and sat with them and availed myself of a Havana cigar and smoked it in their company and listened intently to their imperialist intrigues as they began  talking up, bit by bit, the First World War, perhaps not realizing what they were getting into, which I tried to avert by pointing out that it was to be a horrible catastrophe in which Europe nearly commits suicide and unleashes in full the mechanized slaughter of modern warfare, and which would lead to an even bigger war later, so let’s all just get along, shall we, but they took no notice of me, as I said, so I smoked my cigar quietly and wondered, did they not listen to me because I’m naked?  Because I’m wearing running shoes?  My cigar finished, I continued my journey, leaving world history to unfold as it has and continues to, though not for lack of trying to alter it for the better, and I emerged from another manhole cover 100 metres from the one I entered and arrived home safely 93 years after the Armistice and 20 minutes after the beginning of my run, refreshed and reinvigorated.

So, as an avid runner, I would suggest altering your route on occasion—it keeps things interesting.

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