Yesterday, My Mother drove My grandMother to an animal shelter to adopt a new cat because her other one was recently put down. The poor thing had severe diabetes, lost the majority of the function in her kidneys, and had zero bladder control. 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 will 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. grandMother didn’t get to take Mango home that day due to Red Tape in one form or another, but as I write this they’re back at the shelter, cat carrier in hand. Hats off to Mango.
grandMother 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 resale barns and warehouses and the like, I mentioned that I saw gas station signs. One of these read Sinclair, and had a dinosaur on it. Dinosaurs are a favorite of my old college friend Mike who lives in Virginia, you may remember him if you read Running: How to Torture Yourself and Enjoy It. 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 and we started texting back and forth. I mentioned I would be passing through Virginia and it would be awesome if I could stop for an overnight visit. With no hesitation he said yes, and that’s where I’m currently headed: a coastal city-town called Norfolk, Virginia. It’s more than a few hours out of my way, and all things considered this detour will probably pile an extra threeish hours on top of my already ridiculous drive, but to see an old friend? It’s unquestionably worth it. Besides, this means I only have to drive seven hours today instead of the full twelve. I’m all for it.
“Today is Wednesday, though,” G-Mah says to the sink.
The dawn is swathed in eerie 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 drawing a brush against the skin of my arm, and no, the ambient air temperature is not going to make me feel like my being alive is even remotely acceptable this morning.
It is the ninth day of the March of the year 2019. My name is Hunter (aka Rattlesnake Wallace to literally one human being) and I like 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 allowed 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 might 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 downstairs, feel the sunlight bursting through the open window I forgot to curtain last night, smell the fermented puffs of hot morning breath whiffing 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’s a slab of concrete, and my hair isn’t bound in a ponytail, meaning it’s everywhere. I’ll probably have to pull a few strands of it out of my mouth – and probably one or two out of my eyes, too – when I get up.