Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

“Hey, Runner!”

December 16, 2008

I was once a badass runner
whose body was his slave
I’d run or walk for hours
and eat pasta by the pound

I could run through a wall
or, failing that
I could run around it
strong legs bearing me ever on

that leaner version of me

hollow cheeks, clear eyes

sharp jawline, straight waist
was possessed by a quest

ever listening to the silent song

that played underneath
every part of my life
the beat driving me forward

these memories visit me

at the strangest times:
walking by the Home Depot,
seeing a restaurant, feeling the rain

I’m afraid I’ll never get over this

eternally pining for the past

denigrating and celebrating myself
humming “Glory Days” with wry smile

because that memory is selective
telling half-truths
indulging exaggerations

that old me walked tall, but cast a long
shadow: selfish, obsessive, mired in depression
running away from sadness

desperate for redemption

did I find it there,
laying in the grass in Chicago
blissed out of my addled brain
the ultimate arrival?

or did I taste something
that will forever dwell
at the back of my mouth

a sweet reminder that can turn bitter

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4 Responses to ““Hey, Runner!””

  1. timothy says:

    im remembering warming up in the workout room. good times.

    looking forward to pres. day, running will forever taste like chili.

  2. kate says:

    I can relate to some of this — metaphorically, of course. The remembering ‘the good ol’ days,’ yet knowing the self-centeredness and selectiveness of it all.
    But I have to say, Mike, I still think of you as This Guy. You are, and will always be, a mighty marathon runner in my book!

  3. sparksfly says:

    ALWAYS a badass with me!

  4. Erik U. says:

    Beautiful, Mike! I can really relate to the emotions you’re expressing. I was never a great runner, but I loved to run, and I felt good about being active. And then “life” happens…

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