SONY DSCWaking up this morning I thought of my grandmother.  I woke in SE.  I thought of the lack of funds in my bank account and then I took a run.  Out the door, shades on, music on, keys in pocket; frozen for a moment in preparation, I gazed at houses and at the street straight ahead, then I began the motion.

I ran as fast as I could in my barefoot running shoes.  I ran to the East into the sun.  I ran through the university campus; through the construction, where they tore down and covered in dirt the old buildings; cement, brick, and metal, all lined under the topsoil.  I ran by the Mc Donald’s, past kids on bikes, kids just walking, wearing their University of Minnesota gear and backpack.

Further on, I ran near my old house, across old streets I frequented.  I ran past the young, those new to the area and school.  I ran past the old, some huddled in doorway corners smoking cigarettes, hiding from the wind.

I ran in the sun.  I wanted to burn.  I thought of you.  I thought of how we used to sit in the grass and talk of the future together.  I thought of this and I ran past it all.

I saw the stadium-high and mighty in the clear blue sky, I thought of how it was just a spot of dirt when I first moved to Minneapolis; dreams, trucks, contracts, workers, and tuition, later-play ball!

I thought of my old roommate as I ran past his old place of employment:  The Print Shop on Washington.  Things have changed.  I ran by.  I thought of the money I needed to get my teeth fixed and the money I didn’t have.

I ran faster.  I ran over local papers crumpled in my path fluttering in the wind.  I ran across the bridge next to the 35W.  The sun was high and bright on this April day; however, it gave little heat.  The new bridge hung over the spot where so many died and were injured.  Looking below I saw the swirl of the Mississippi River; fast current, whirlpools of foam, yet no cadavers-nothing floating at least.

On the other side of the bridge I ran above a train-yard where workers in hardhats deconstructed boxcars with a yellow-bodied crane and blowtorch.  Were it summer I couldn’t imagine the feeling of the sweltering heat and burning metal.  I thought of all they wore.  I thought of being a child and touching train tracks in July in the early 90’s.  I remember the pain and surprise of the hot metal on my delicate flesh.  My knee started to ache.  Still I ran faster.

I ran past the house where she died, the room where she lay on the floor.  For God knows how long.  The blinds down all the way, no entry point for a peering eye.

I ran past the door and crossed the street illegally.  I ran.  I sprinted.  I kept running.  This was my technique; this was how I won.  And I thought I have no fun ever.  All my fun costs money.  I ran at an increasing pace, faster, terminal velocity on feet.

And then I ran to the door and stopped.  I almost fell.  I bobbed back and forth.  My shadow shone the act on the ground before where I stood.  I regained my composure and I thought.  Now I know, running is fun and doesn’t cost me a damn thing but memory, emotion, and elation enough for to shed a tear.  The past ran back to haunt me.  I don’t even think I ran 5 miles.  And I was just out for a jog.

Goddamn, I need a cigarette…


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks:
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