A Metaphor for Life

An accounting of a typical morning run05-sinking-captain

I’m less than a kilometer in and feeling not so strong today. My back is hurting and stiff. That crummy bed…or was it falling asleep on the couch with the game on? Yeah, that was probably it. Plantar fasciitis is bothering me, too. Didn’t do what I should have done (my stretches) yesterday. I’m going to pay for it today.

One kilometer in. Damn, it is COLD this morning. And the wind…wow! I should have put on another layer. And these knit gloves were not the greatest idea. My hands feel like blocks of ice, and the arthritis that’s in my once broken thumb serves as a reminder of how things can change in an instant. Maybe it didn’t heal right. I did beat the crap out of it practicing my bass playing for an important engagement. The price we pay… Oh David, don’t be a martyr.

Still too dark to see the beauty of this place I am in. Beauty that is now and forever muted by all of the past drama I associate with being here. Maybe I shouldn’t come anymore. Tormented. I let a some people down by getting distracted with selfish things. Let it GO, David!

Nearly two kilometers in now. Everything is tight, leg hurting now. Feel so tired and fatigued. I am not going to be able to make it this morning. I wonder why? Was it my diet yesterday? I didn’t sleep well, but that’s pretty typical for me — half my life happens in the middle of the night. That’s probably catching up with me. I need to see the doctor about it. What if it’s psychological? When I wake up my mind just kicks in with all of the thoughts about everything. Can’t shut it down. Why does stuff weigh on me so much? Shut up and just focus on the music, David. I remember recording this song with Danny. He was in big trouble at the time. I never went to see him. He always came to me in the studio. I wasn’t a good enough friend. I was “too busy.” Self-absorbed. But we made some great music. I wish there were an artist around I could work with like that again. Maybe I need to form a band…oh…HELL no. Never mind. I would go nuts trying to get that off the ground on top of all the other crap I have to do.

Three kilometers. David, just give it up and walk the rest. Sweating like crazy. You’re dying this morning, and you’re not going to make the distance so give in and get back to it another day. Why punish yourself? Because I deserve it. I need it. I wish I had developed the practice of running at a time when my body was in better shape. Uh, yeah, that would have been a LONG time ago. Man, I hate this crap. Running to stay fit and healthy. It’s SO boring. Oh, for crying out loud David. Stop being a sissy. It’s just another kind of pain. Accept it. Be glad you can experience it. Slow the pace a little and press on. If I quit I know I will be disgusted with myself.

Coming up on Four kilometers. Oh, look! Another runner (rounded the corner on the other side of the street). Man, he looks like he is suffering, and very slow. Wait a minute…he is pulling away from me. What?! Do I look that bad?! Oh, come on David. Okay, this guy doesn’t know it, but he is in a race with me. One I am not going to lose. Speed up. COME ON. Pain is only a sensation. Good. It is working. I just have to pick up my pace a little more and I should be able to pull away. Hurts like hell, but I am not letting this guy kick my ass. Ouch, the stiffness in my back is really persisting today. Running with the Devil is on the iPod now. How ironic. The devil and me. Running. From what? I have been a bad person on occasion. I probably AM running with the Devil. How can I fix it? Fix myself? Fix the damage? Hard to when you push people away. Argh!! Wow…David Lee Roth’s vocal performance in this track is unbelievable. It makes me laugh every time I hear it. I can just see that goofy look he gets on his face. Or, maybe he was serious. I mean, this was their first real record. Yeah, he was probably taking himself so seriously. But it’s a hilarious performance — he was SO over the top. Just awesome. It’s a double-edged sword that I hear a lot of things in music most people don’t.

Just Past Four kilometers. Weird. I actually feel better. I’ve loosened up a bit more, feel more fluid. I wonder if I can speed up more? Do I mess with it or just maintain this pace? I feel like I can make it now. Shouldn’t I push for the maximum? No settling. Oh wait, that other guy is gone. He must have turned, or given up. Maybe I demoralized him. Feeling guilty about that — me and the devil. Now…there is nobody to push me. Nobody to help. I am on my own. Just me and my companion, misery (and the devil). Some people may care about me, but…they aren’t here. Nobody is ever here with me. When I suffer, it is always between me…and me. Nobody but me to blame about that, though. We live in the reality we build for ourselves. I guess I am sort of strangely comfortable in this one. Nothing to do but run. Feeling tired, but I know I can make it now.

Five kilometers. It’s getting light out. I can see silhouettes of palm trees against the burgundy sky. It would make a great photo, if I could stop to take it. But don’t stop. My crummy camera wouldn’t do it justice anyway. I really need to get a good, modern camera. I am letting my photography talents atrophy, which I’m probably going to regret one day. Need to sell my old A1. That was a great camera, but it’s probably about worthless now. Nobody shoots on film anymore. Can’t waste time worrying about the way things used to be. Nobody cares. The sun just keeps coming up. Speaking of which, it will be up in another 15 minutes. Really exhausted now. Just look down and watch the cracks go by. Thinking about the cracks that form in things that were solid. Focus. Maintain your pace. Ignore the fatigue. Push through the boredom, because there’s nothing else to do.

Approaching my goal of six kilometers. Wow, another song I recorded just came on. Funny, I remember working so hard to get that reverb pitched up a fifth from the vocal and blended. I thought I was so clever. Nobody has ever noticed that (that I know of). Typical…lost in the details while the stuff people actually pay attention to passes me by. What a great record this was. I was at the height of my powers on this one. Another great band that crumbled under the stress of being a band. I went down with the ship. I cared. All of the work I did, for nothing. Of all things my leg is really hurting now. What the heck is this? Some type of pulled muscle? Whatever. Just about a half mile to go. What a miserable run this has been. Don’t be weak, David. Come on! Kick it! I am going to go full-tilt for the last half-mile. No crying. Just get it done. You’ve been eating like crap, you know you need this.

DONE! Made it, albeit with a very slow time. If any of my physically fit friends saw me now — with the panting, dripping sweat, the drool, almost on my knees — they would feel ashamed. Yeah, best that I am alone. Too embarrassing otherwise. Walk it off. Long and stressful day ahead wearing one of my many hats. At least my metabolism will be elevated. That which doesn’t kill us…

Tomorrow, I lift weights. If there is anything I hate more than running that’s it. But it’s better than the alternative…

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