Yesterday, My Mother brought My grandMother to an animal shelter to adopt a new cat because her old one was recently put down. The poor thing had severe diabetes, she lost the majority of the function in her kidneys, and had zero control over her bladder. The old animal was weak, emaciated, and she lived a life of suffering. Rest in peace Akasha; I did not know you well, but I know you’ll be well missed. The new cat’s name is Mango, she’s a beautiful orange sweetheart about nine years into the first of her nine lives. My grandMother didn’t get to take Mango home that day because of Red Tape in some form or another, but as I’m writing this, they’re back at the shelter, cat carrier in hand. Hats off to Mango.
G-Mah nods her head slowly, eyes closed, fingertips together, allowing the words she was just read to digest in her mind.
Well, there you have it. That was Roadtrip.
A couple days ago when the Fisher family and I were exploring consignment barns and warehouses and the like, I mentioned that I saw all sorts of neat random stuff. Among this myriad I saw quite a collection of gas station signs, including one with a dinosaur on it that said Sinclair. Dinosaurs are a favorite of my college friend Mike, a Navy man who lives in Virginia that you may remember if you read Running: How to Torture Yourself and Enjoy It |The Unvictimized Edition|. I haven’t talked to the man in a phat minute but when I saw the sign, I thought he would get a kick out of it, so I sent him a picture of the thing and we got to texting. I mentioned I would soon be passing through Virginia and that it would be awesome if I could stop for an overnight visit. With zero hesitation he said yes, and that’s where I’m currently headed: a coastal city-town called Norfolk, Virginia.
“Today is Wednesday though,” G-Mah says to the sink.
The dawn is swathed in an eerie state of twilight as I walk out the front door of my parents’ house. The cold is abrasive, bristling, it feels like a brush is being dragged across my skin, but not a brush with metal bristles; no, more like a brush with plastic bristles. My skin is certainly getting scratched, but not aggressively enough to draw blood. Just enough to remind me that, yes, Jack Frost is still drawing a brush against the skin of my arm, and no, the ambient air temperature is not going to make me feel like existing is even remotely okay this morning.
Today is March 9th, 2019. My name is Hunter (aka Rattlesnake Wallace to literally one other human) and I’m a reclusive dude who likes to run and write. I live in my parent’s house in a small mountainy lake town situated in the forests of northern New Jersey called Ringwood. Just a couple days ago I self-published my first book, titled Running: How To Torture Yourself And Enjoy It, on an internet platform that allows me to do so. It’s a short self-help/philosophy-ish diddy about running, how the sport has vastly improved my life, and how it can improve your life, too.
Although I wake, my eyes do not open. I don’t tell them not to open, they’re just not feeling it yet; most mornings are like this. I can hear my family bustling around downstairs, feel the sunlight bursting through the open window I forgot to curtain last night, taste the fermented puffs of hot morning breath rising from my mouth to my nostrils. I want to get up, hell I need to get up, but my body just isn’t feeling it. My limbs are heavy and immobile, my torso is a slab of concrete and my hair isn’t bound in a ponytail, meaning it’s everywhere, and I’ll have to pull a few strands of it out of my mouth, and probably one or two out of my eyes, when I find them.