So, I haven't ran in a couple weeks, but I finally got back on the chain gang tonight. 40 minutes, after two weeks, not too bad relatively speaking of course.
So here's my story for the day.
As I'm running, there's a possum, naked in the daylight. I'm from a place that I always referred to as, "the old neighborhood" once I moved. We're all from "the old neighborhood" of course, but mine had characters like the Almond Bros., Nicky Palmasano, Brian Casey, Jon Birch and Amy Gallo ... not to mention my brothers friends like Chris Gallo and my favorite of them all, Dan Staboneezer, whom we commonly referred to as "Dan Stabbed a Sneezer" What can I say, 8 year olds are quite clever.
At that age, you don't understand neighborhood dynamics like you do now. Your neighborhood is basically one gigantic playground for games such as tag and hide and seek, and of course, "Book!" which was a game that was a pre-meditated way to ditch someone, usually Jon Birch. Someone would yell "Book!" and we'd all run away from a particular person and have a rendez-vous point to continue our fun without that person. I guess we're all a little too old for "Book!" now, it's unfortunate.
You basically learn which neighbors are the cranky neighbors by getting chased by old people like you were a common squirrel from out of their bushes, or behind their garage, out of their gutters, or wherever you're trespassing in their yard. Your neighborhood has limits, like you can't cross Lancaster Ave, and stay away from Farmington Ave, the busy street. Every now and then, a neighbor would offer advice too, like Mr. Taylor. Yes, we lived next door to an elderly couple, also named the Taylors, and Mr. Taylor died in his sleep. Now that I think of it, he was the first person I ever knew who died, but at whatever really young age I was, it obviously didn't have too much of an affect on my life, whereas my parents probably had to go to some funeral they may or may not have wanted to go to. Dying in your sleep though to me, seemed very soothing. I decided then that's the way I wanted to go.
Mr. Taylor had some advice for me one day, that I remembered today. One wintry New England day, us kids were running around the neighborhood, building snow forts and snowmen and throwing snow balls at Jon Birch, and we encountered a gray raccoon running around like a cat would, or a dog. We were naturally intrigued, and wanted to capture it, maybe pet it, or whatever, but Mr. Taylor advised us to stay away because it was rabid. His theory was, if you see a nocturnal animal out in the day time, you should probably stay away because chances are it's dangerous.
That brings me to today. Another possum encounter, but this time I didn't have my car and Christmas cheer to protect me. As I jogged, he opened his evil possum mouth. He recognized me. He knew I keeled hees brotha, and said prepare to die. So, I crossed the street, not wanting to be chased by a rabid possum at age 33. Thank god for Mr. Johnson's advice, because after I past him, some little kid went running after him, a gingerkid just like Jon Birch, and the possum jumped on him and started eating his face. Okay, I made that last sentence up, but the rest is true. Poor Jon Birch.