Why Can't I Live in a Pair of Brooks

by Victor S. Smith

The pavement passed under her feet with a thud, thud, thud and she thought about how remarkable the human body is; she had been running for twenty minutes, and the pain that always started to radiate from the shins up into her knees, then to her hips that would then take up residence in her lower back at about mile two was starting to dissipate, as it always did at about mile four. She wondered if the pain was truly dissipating, or if her brain had just shut down those nerve endings that told her to stop, after her pace quickened and the message from her soul and heart was clearly sent: today I need this, and no pain is going to stop me. Pain was a catharsis for her, the aches and pains that accompanied a grueling run were the things that cleansed her spirit, that left her feeling pure again; water was the symbol in movies that she always associated with ritual purification and the perspiration pouring down her face, into her eyes and on her lips as the miles ticked away had to be a 90% water she thought. She marveled again at her bodies ability to compensate for obstacles as she, without realizing it, changed her gait by a fraction of an inch to allow her passage over the street curb at the corner of Traverse and Wickendon, her speed not broken, and then readjusted it again once she was on the flat concrete of the sidewalk. She asked herself as she charged up the hilly streets, that were lined with cherry trees and forsythia: why can't I do this when I am living my life, why is it so difficult to navigate the tiny obstacles? The answer she came to was remarkably simple: running is easy, you just put one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again, until you reach your destination; life, however, is not a run, it is a slam dance to a cacophonous, discordant tune, and there is no more a straight line than there is a destination.

6S

Victor S. Smith, author of A Route Forty-Four Chainsaw Massacre, is a recovering economist who caught a writing bug penicillin isn't clearing up. His two blogs are Like Pollution and Marlowe's Sketch Pad.