That reminds me........
By ice rivers
“That reminds me…..”is the great mechanism that fires up many a story from our story tellers and from those of us who turn the reminder into words that stay.
Yesterday Lynn and I were taking our walk around our neighborhood. We passed dozens of other walkers as we kept our social distance. We all wished each other well and passed on the warning…..”Stay safe”
As we neared the bottom of Serenity Street we got a new warning. A couple without a dog warned us that we were about to encounter a snake on the sidewalk….”a small one yes but still a snake so don’t be alarmed.
Sure enough we encountered that snake and it was a small one, it looked more like a prosperous worm than it did a snake . I turned to Lynn and said….That reminds me.
“ I decided to run a half marathon in Phelps, New York…the sauerkraut capital of upstate New York. I was just trying to get my miles in for the week when the complexion of the event changed. A woman who I knew and didn’t like had decided to enter the same event which meant that this was going to be some sort of contest because this woman always competed even while I co-operated which is a bad thing for those of us who tend to co-operate. Worst of all, we ran at about the same speed and several times in the past, we had finished right next to each other in shorter races. She was usually coming from nowhere from behind and had a way of nipping me at the finish until I became aware of her tendency to sneak up on me. If I knew she was coming, I made sure to finish before her with a big effort as we closed in on the finish.
Now, surrounded by the fragrance of sauerkraut”, I realized that I would be dealing with her for thirteen effin miles. I had a choice. I could follow her and her bobbing ponytail or I could grab a lead and try to enjoy the run and forget about her.
I chose the latter. Sure and wisely enough she ran directly behind me and used me as a windbreaker. I was aware of her breathing but I just maintained my pace and endeavored to forget about her. I decided to enjoy the run.
This strategy worked pretty well until we came to the hills on the course. For some infuriating reason, whenever we came to a hill she would always yell“Hill” in an obnoxious voice.
I may be oblivious but one thing I knew for sure was when the hell a hill was in front of me. Every time she said that word “hill” she reminded me that she was right on my ass which made the run that much less fun and more like a competition that I didn’t want. It even made each hill more formidable than it really was. Some of the hills were prosperous knolls.
This patter went on for the next eleven miles.
I was getting tired. She was at least ten years younger. I had to confront the inevitable. She was going to pass me and to her this would be a meaningful victory.
We approached one more hill. I knew she was going to “warn” me about it so I decided to be pro-active. I saw a gnarly piece of wood thrusting from some bushes on the side of the road. I looked towards the wood and “warned” her with the only word I said during the 13 miles.
I yelled out “snake”.
Immediately I heard her whoop in reply. I could sense that she came off her stride for a moment because after the whoop I couldn’t hear her breathing. I decided to widen the distance between us so I went into my finishing kick although we were nowhere near the finish line.
She eventually caught up with me and with a half mile to go, she passed me and her pony tail said “so long sucker.”
I didn’t mind. Eventually we have to confront the inevitable. I enjoyed the last half mile of the run which was no longer a race.
Sometimes people warn us about matters that are obvious. Sometimes people warn us about snakes that are really pieces of wood. Inevitability eventually plays itself out. Every once in awhile what we think is a piece of wood turns out to be a snake. Every once in awhile, a snake is as obvious as a hill only far deadlier.”…….
We have copperhead and diamondbacks here in North Carolina.
We also have prosperous worms and grassy knolls.
We walked past the snake and made our way up Serenity Hill to our pillared porch.