It’s not like I was ever a Runner. I did track in middle school. My relay team always won at meets, but only because I was friends with the fast girls. Then again, middle school was also when I could keep up with my friend The Runner, the one who runs miles in under four minutes, as long as he didn’t start sprinting.
He talked me into doing cross country with him the summer before freshman year of high school. It was hot (practice was early early early in the morning but I live in the kind of town where it hits 90 degrees before ten a.m., so) and sticky and miserable and glorious. Then, in the last weeks of August, I tried out for volleyball (which I’d also played, school and club, in middle school) and made the team. I was too chicken to tell the coach, one of the social science-y teachers, that I quit, so I passed the news along to my friend and just stopped going to practice. I thought the teacher, who passed it along through the grapevine that he was (mockingly) angry with me and who yelled at me down the halls whenever I passed his classroom, would forget about it eventually. I wasn’t one of his prize runners or anything. I was a middle-of-the-pack girl. But he never did. Even in senior year he still regularly told my other friend (who’d been the best cross country girl until she lost her whatever-it-was that made her so good and subsequently had a breakdown) that she was to persuade my itinerant ass to itinerate back to the team. It made me feel bad. That he was so nice. That he remembered me.
Volleyball was grueling and I loved it and hated it more. I always wondered whether I’d made The Right Choice or whatever bullshit.
But I ran tonight. Barefoot and in a tank top and boxers around the whole neighborhood, with my cell phone clutched in my hand. It wasn’t very far. Maybe one mile the first loop. But then I passed my house and went around again without even stopping. Not when I got a stitch in my ribs. Not when I stepped on sharp rocks. Not when I got splinters in my feet. And my lungs didn’t hurt and yeah, I was sweating, but I’ve been sweating passively all fucking day. (It’s midnight now and still almost eighty degrees out. Why.)
I looked at the stars in between street lamps, when the light pollution wasn’t too bad. Tried to figure out which constellations I was looking at, realized I had all of them wrong (that one W wouldn’t turn into Cassiopeia no matter how hard I squinted), so I made up new ones instead. Thought about things. Wrote shit in my head. Let all my stories untangle out like I do every night before I go to sleep, only it was better, cleaner, and there wasn’t the chance that they’d all be gone or knotted again when I woke up.
And I never stopped. Because it was just: Pavement. Pavement. Pavement. Night. Night. Night.
I’m supposed to be the cold emotionless robot in the family (you would not BELIEVE how many times during this past week I have overheard various relatives telling others just to assign such-and-such task to me because I could be relied on to be feelingless and cold-hearted, etc.), but I cried and dribbled and sniffled and bawled and wept my way through my wavery-voiced eulogy today like an infant
but the good news is that I’m not even embarrassed
So my gram died this morning. My dad’s mom. I now have no grandparents left wtf because everyone else died of like alcoholism and smoking already. And don’t worry, I am usually a callous bastard, but I am rather heartbroken and all and I’ve cried and whatnot but at the mo, you know, I’m just keeping it boiled under or whatever, but anyway, I present to you what are so far the funniest moments of today, because in shitty situations I resort to being tacky and inappropriately using humor as a coping mechanism. But if that is the kind of thing that is likely to make you uncomfortable, please don’t read this, yeah?
THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE UNDER A ‘READ MORE’ BUT IT’S NOT WORKING SO WHATEVER.
Geranium texting: I’m so sorry for your lose.
My mom, who is taking it really fucking hard, texting: I just can’t stop crying…
I roll my eyes because I can’t deal with this, like, how do you even respond to that, omg.
Mom texting: And my face looks shite
Me texting: lol I’m sorry that your face looks shite :(
Mom texting: Like shite [probably because she thought I was making fun of her grammar]
Me texting: "Looks shite" works too actually
Mom texting: Or as Gram would say “shuta” [misspelling of Lithuanian for ‘shit’]
Me texting: Šūda!
Mom to me on the phone: "How’s Dad? [it was his mom] Is he okay?
Me: "Uh, yeah, I guess, I mean, he’s like visibly fine or whatever. He’s not crying or anything. He is sweating a lot from helping me move though, so that’s kind of the same thing."
Dad, who coincidentally is here to take me home tomorrow after my last final: "I’M CRYING WITH MY BODY!!"
My dad to my mom on the phone: “Suck it up!”
Me: “Dad!!!" [throws things at him]
Dad: "I was trying to be empathetic! Sympathetic! Was that not?"
Me: "Oh my god, Dad, that is like the opposite of empathy!”
Dad: "Wait, I said sympathy too! Sympathetic!"
Me on the phone with my brother: "So Dad told Mom to suck it up."
Dad: "Would you shut up about that already, you little punk?"
My brother: "Wait, are you serious? Oh my god."
Me: "Everyone deals with grief in different ways."
My brother: "I just came back from the dentist. I’m trying to make sure this is actually the worst day possible. I’m gonna find some huge dude to kick me in the balls later."
My mom on the phone (she kept calling): "I think it will be really nice if you and all the grandkids, including Geranium and [his sister], could sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ at the funeral."
Me: "Oh my god, Mom. That…is going to be so cheesy.”
My mom, starting to cry harder: "I just thought it would be nice."
Me: "Aaahh okay. Um. Okay. Fine. It’ll be…uh…sweet. We can, uh, do that, I guess."
My aunt on Facebook: [emotional status update here]
Aunt’s friend: OMG…I’m so sorry.
Which just made me die laughing, because, “OMG”? Really?
Various other fucking status updates because my whole damn family is all about the fucking social networking. Geranium even tweeted about it. My sister and I don’t really get along but I feel a CoNnEcTiOn to her in this time because I swear to god we are like the only ones who haven’t posted something.