Sunday, September 26, 2010

The day the geese stood still

I love running outside - the fresh air, the sky, the scenery, the HEAT - I love it.

Today, however, fall came to Texas.

This meant 2 things.

1: I didn't have to run before 11am/after 7pm to avoid heat stroke
2: I spent 30 minutes deciding if I needed pants, capri running tights, my long sleeve shirt, etc to run in (hey. I get cold.) only to end up wearing my normal running shorts but a short sleeve tee instead of running tank, because dude friend convinced me I'd warm up once I got out there. I did, but I was REALLY miserable the first 15 minutes.

I left the apartment at 11:30, and the sky was all overcast and gloomy and the air had this weird crispness to it. There were tons of people out running and walking in varying states of bundled-upness, proving that I'm not the only Texan whose system goes into shock when the temp gets below 70. I mean everyone was clearly ALSO excited to be outside without keeling over - when it's hot I usually only ever see one or two other joggers out in the daylight.

Anyway, I digress. But no it's kind of related to the story. I usually trot down to the high school track, where there's always other people running, I can set my water bottle on the bleachers, and families frolic in the fields while doves fly overhead and kids pitch into that batting cage thing in the corner.

It's pretty sweet. People corral their kids in that middle section while they jog around. There is usually some dried duck poo in the upper right corner of the track, but I normally amuse myself by playing hopscotch with it. I was expecting more of the same today.

I was wrong.

My track, my fields, they had no people. Empty. Creepy. The grass was a weird color, the sky was getting gloomier and I was all alone. Well, except for that cop car hanging out by that random truck with a horse trailer, which were parked oddly in the school parking lot. I don't know how to draw a cop car so for the sake of the story pretend that a blue car = the police. (This won't matter later.)

Then I noticed something else, off in the distance. The birds! The ones whose poo I'd been hopping over for months - I was finally getting to see them! But my eyesight is a little wacky, so I was like, wtf are they? Ducks or geese? Can I eat one?

Can you tell I dyed my hair red? SO CUTE. My bff and I did it before my birthday. LOVE.

Wow, that's a lot of geese. Definitely geese. Still wondering if they'd taste good. Is it poaching if I take one?How does that work? WHY DO I THINK OF THESE THINGS?

Each lap the geese start getting closer. I stare them down, hoping they know I'll eat them if given half a chance.

But then...maybe that's not a good idea. Is eye contact BAD with geese? Are they like creepy van guys, where you are supposed to make SOFT eye contact and not direct eye contact? Are they thinking about eating me too?

Holy fucking god they're swarming me. See the big leader? See how they are coming from both sides? What the fuck!! Did they eat the other runners?!?!

But then I remember the cop car. He's probably part of some special anti-geese task force, right, here to protect peole from these gangs of maurading fowl.

I really thought that. It took me 7 minutes to figure out that didn't making any freaking sense. Why WAS that cop there? Was he still there? I looked again.

The cop was still there - but he had MOVED. He'd been there 25 minutes and now he was angled straight at me.

The Xs on the track show the location of all the geese. Where were they all coming from?!

They were continuing to swarm the track, creepy cop was inexplicably watching me run...I'd had it.


Maybe nothing sinister was going on, but, whatever the hell it was, it was ruining my run. I was obsessing about geese and cops and horse trailers instead of thinking about whatever it is I normally think about, so I fled the scene and decided to finish my run on the trail by the canal.

Three minutes later, the cop drove by me. Then he turned around and drove by again.

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