Writing, Running, Being.

The finish line is a shifty Thing and what is life, but reckoning?
Ani DiFranco

Thursday, November 15, 2007

some thoughts on University Park

On two occasions, completely independent of one another, I have been called a German Shepherd. The first time was by a boy whose name I can't recall in my fourth grade class. The second time was by a girl in my 7th grade class, shortly after the movie "All Dogs Go To Heaven 2" came out. This was years later and at a different school in a different state! That simply can't be a coincidence. I've been carrying around this "German Shepherd Complex" ever since. I hate those stupid dogs. Whenever I happen to be around someone who has one I get all nervous and paranoid. I start sweating and shaking and searching for excuses to get away. It's as if I think the dog owner will pause mid-conversation and say "Hey! I just noticed you kinda look like my dog!" It's absolutely dreadful! When I ring someone's doorbell and dogs start barking my heart skips a beat and I begin praying rapidly "please don't let it be a german shepherd please don't let it be a german shepherd pleasedon'tletitbeagermans
hepherd!" Needless to say, when I am ready for a dog, it will be a Lab or a Husky or a St. Bernard or a Shi Tzu (because I like the name).

Jonas just fell asleep in my lap and Brian just got home so now I can go running sans the jog stroller. I like running at night because nobody else is out. Everyone is at home, finishing dinner. Scraping the last few bites of steak and potatoes into the bowls of their eager German Shepherds. The other night I ran through University Park. I admired all the lovely things I will never have:

A gigantic house on top of a hill with a door that I am not allowed to paint because of the Covenant.
A sixteen-car garage that I could live in comfortably with my family, and store everything I own and use as a painting studio.
A sprinkler system that I would of course only run at night.
Sod (I never liked sod much anyway. It's too pretty, like a wig for the earth, just weird).
A pension.

It hurts, sometimes, to see other people’s things. Especially when they are things that are so far out of reach for me. The University Park residents probably worked very hard their whole lives and this is why they can afford beautiful houses and waterfalls. They have so much money, yet somehow I know they would wrinkle their noses at the prospect of replacing the brake cable on their grandson’s Huffy. Maybe I’m just prejudiced. It hurts me, sometimes, to see people who have everything. Especially when I know that all Brian wants is an education and a little space to build some bicycles.

Sometimes when I’m running, a moment passes quickly by and I wish I could decipher it with Galileo’s insight. I wish I could write it with Sylvia’s words. I wish I could sing it with Aretha’s conviction. I wish I could paint it with Pollock’s nerve. I wish I could run it with Shea’s heart and legs. Wish I could top it out with Peter’s strength. Wish I could kiss it with Sarah’s guts. Lick it up with the reckless abandon of a German Shepherd. Sometimes it passes by so quickly and I am just greatful that the night is cold because I can still see my breath. And this proves I am living.

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