Close Enough

After the boy was gone this morning, I went for a run in my favorite spot in the Metroparks. I hadn’t run five minutes when my left quad seized up. I mentally ran through the last several days, trying to figure out what I’d done to make it so suddenly and unexpectedly angry. I could find no good answer, and so I chose to ignore it and run anyway. Mentally, the way I deal with most of the pain I’m in when I run, which is some place, all the time, is to pretend I’m in the military, where they don’t care what hurts or what’s bothering you, you just have to go do what they tell you. And so I told myself I would go for a long run, and I did. I got seven miles in, which is the most I’ve been able to run since last winter. The quad never really quit being an asshole, but it quieted down a little after about the third mile, thanks to adrenaline.

It was so hot and sunny by the time I was done, I limped into the woods and just sat on a log for a long while, basking in the fall light like a lizard in denial as to what’s coming up soon. It was lovely and the woods smelled so WOODSY, it was like a turn-on.

On the way home to a much-needed Epsom salts and lavender bath, I called my Mom and left a brief message like, wtf, 70 degrees on November 1. There was a work emergency when I got out of the bath, and I dealt with that and then had some lunch and did a little reading in the sunlight that so quickly passes over my mostly shaded patio. That was a sweet moment in time. My face still burning from the run, a tasty lunch of Greek food I made, a single cold glass of white wine. Some hours later, I realized I needed to go to the store for a few things (including more wine, since that glass was the last of what’s at home) and called Mom again since she hadn’t called me back. We talked briefly and I said, “Well, it’s been nice chatting, I have to go in the store now to get my stuff, I just wanted to make sure you weren’t dead,” and we both cackled like witches. “Nope, not yet,” she said. I had NO makeup on and barely look human – I didn’t even blow dry my hair after the bath/shower, so it’s all wavy and slept-under-a-bridge-like. I picked up a little more veg for the week and some wine and at the cash register, the cashier was all like, “I need to see your ID.” She doesn’t know who I am, even though I shop there all the time and know who she is because she’s the cashier that talks a lot about Jesus. I thought about cracking a joke about Jesus and wine but didn’t think she would think it was funny. I showed her my ID and she made this HUGE deal out of it. “OH MY GOD, I’M ONLY 58 AND I LOOK SO MUCH OLDER THAN YOU!” I didn’t argue with her for any number of reasons, not the least of which being that I’m 46 so how is that even relevant? Christ, two more years of parenting this kid and I’ll probably look 58. “Do you,” she said, struggling to figure out what STUPID QUESTION she was trying to ask me, “you know, have a lot of, well, longevity, or people who look young for a long time in your family?” “My grandmother lived to be 101,” I told her. “REALLY?” she said, as though she had never heard of anyone living to be that old before. “Did she drink wine?” “No, she drank Southern Comfort,” I said (true story). “Well,” she continued, “you look really great.” “Thank you,” I said, thinking how I couldn’t possibly look much worse than I did right then, with no makeup and my uneven skin tone and homeless hair. All I had been thinking before I went into the grocery was how I needed to pluck my eyebrows and lose another 20 pounds but Jesus Cashier thinks I look great so I guess that’s something.

Then I turned to go and Charlie Daniels was next to me. Well, it wasn’t Charlie Daniels for real, or Hank Jr or a member of Alabama, but this guy looked like he walked off a “Country Singers With Beards” calendar, complete with the cowboy hat and black shirt with little rivets and everything. He even had sunglasses on, because hungover country singers have to grocery shop too. He looked so unusual and out of place in my little suburban grocery store I found myself stifling a laugh because it was such an unusual sight.

Tomorrow afternoon/evening is the first of the two fall dinners at school I swore I wouldn’t organize again for the teachers the night of parent-teacher conferences, but of course got roped into organizing them anyway. I have to remember to wear layers and comfortable shoes this year. It gets really hot working these things and I don’t want to look like I’m having a stroke because my face is all red like I did last year. I went to pay for the order for Monday’s meal but of course there were no managers at the restaurant and nobody knew what order I was talking about but I’m sure EVERYTHING WILL BE JUST FINE.

I need to fix this plantar fasciitis which has crept back into existence. The Turkey Trot is only 3.5 weeks from now and I just can’t have this shit. Stretching tonight. Maybe more wine,  maybe not. But the patio door is open, on the first of November, which is pretty cool.

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