daily preciousness

Saturday, July 13, 2002


Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

In the two-tenths of a second between my flight and my fall, I didn’t see my life fly before my eyes. I simply saw the horizon looming larger and larger, until it finally encompassed my entire field of view. Then it came up and whacked me!

I was running along the George Washington Parkway, next to the Potomac. Jet engines roared above me. To my right, cars wooshed past. Below me, both my knees and left shoulder skidded along the pavement, skin peeling off like cheese through a grader. I watched it all in painful slow-mo. Two-tenths of a second before, my left foot got all wrapped up in my right shoelace. Oh, what evil designs that shoelace must’ve been scheming! How long had it been planning this plot? And to what end? Was it part of a larger plot, financed by squirrel agents who are obviously still after me?

After all I’d done for it, how dare that evil little piece of twine jump up and bite the hand that feeds it! What unmitigated gall it had! And, oh, how the not so mighty have fallen!

At the moment of impact, I didn’t cry out like a 5-year-old. (Admit it; you thought I would, didn’t you?)

Oddly, the pain wasn’t that great. After all of these years of mental anguish, I must have become numb to that kind of physical pain. …Well, sort of…

The blood didn’t gush out, Niagra-like. Instead, it just flowed out in a slow trickle. Down it went, a scarlet, pencil-thin streak down my shin. Two little red badges of clumsiness – a matching pair.

And I kept running. I toughed it out, slowly getting back to my original pace. My entire body could feel the throbbing pain of the wounds, though. With each heartbeat, the nerves in my torn skin screamed a silent warning. “There’s been a security breech! We’ve got pieces of asphalt and dust and all kinds of other crap up in here,” they seemed to be shouting. And I heard them. But I forged ahead. Alejandro, my running partner, offered to call for an emergency ride home. But I could manage. Of course I knew that David wouldn’t mind fetching us, but I knew that I could (and should) tough it out.

So I did. And I'm a better runner for it.


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