Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Running On Empty

Thrice a week, we get together and run. The lads and I. Four boys out for a little exercise and amusement, glad to trade off lunch at our desks or sprawled on the couch in front of "Oprah" as the case may be, for a quick, measured jaunt through town.

The four of us, Lou, Dave, Jim and Bunny are a regular enough feature that we should have a catchy name; the four musketeers, the lung club, thrice weekly, that sort of thing. But we never think about it and I think if we had to by decree, we'd name ourselves after the most frequent title to our e-mails to each other, namely:

-Running today?

We talk. Usually guy talk. Sports, some current events, who looks hot in a tight sweater. Dave always seems to take top honors in the latter. I think he secretly does freeweights on off days.

Double entendres, jokes, observations on the run. Usually who of the opposite sex is passing us and did we rate a second look?

Dave is the talker. He has kept up a consistent banter during speedwork that has made him be marvelled at by marathoners. Where does he get the energy?

Moreover, how does he supply himself with oxygen? I have suggested that he aspirates transdermally. Barring that, and it becomes less likely in winter, he is exhaling out his asshole.

Dave is quick to catch an oncoming female, either in a car or on foot and note her reaction.

"Did you see how she was mentally dressing us? She had sunglasses on, but the angle of her head had her putting me in a parka, no word of lie."

Lou is a little quieter and more focused on his passion: sports. An avid basketball fan, he is a one subject boy in March. In the fall he runs a fantasy football pool. I have tried to get interested and play along but I cannot reconcile anything called "Fantasy Football" that does not feature Natalie Portman as a halfback or Sandra Bullock as a tight end.

When I was younger, I had a pedal car that was my pride and joy. Once, I got the idea to soup it up and with a keyhole saw and some leftover vacuum cleaner hose, I installed pipes on the side of the thing. Wicked!

My old man was outraged. I had ruined a perfectly good pedal car. That outrage continued to high school where he forbade me to take auto shop and into early adult life when he lambasted me for pinstriping my first car.

Dad. Sandra Bullock. Dad, she could'a been mine. Damn you.

Lou has strange changeing habits in the locker room that has him essentially stripped down to not much other than his white running socks. He's been asked on more than one occasion to avail himself of a towel sooner as he starts to look like some sort of Japanese porn star after a while.

Lou, being Lou, a happily married man with a penchant for things romantic, is also our wise advisor in matters of the heart. I fretted over a dinner and a movie night a while ago. That was dinner out and back to the bunnyhouse for a DVD. We have one theatre in town and "Herbie Fully Loaded" was not going to get anyone over the age of 12 anywhere.

Lou suggested three films and further suggested that Dave or Jim, Lou being busy that night, rent about twenty to forty films and wait in the backyard. Sort of like Bert and Ernie in It's a Wonderful Life, a code word spoken out the back window would have one of them scrambling through categories for something more appropriate than "Garden State".

Jim is the speed demon. "Gee guys, can we slow the pace down a little?" is code for "Just let me pace myself because with one mile to go, I'm going to dust you sorry so and so's."

Well, at least he tries. What has always hindered Jim is his propensity to be called upon for assistance. Every single, and this is no fictional exageration, but every single time someone has pulled over, rolled down a window and asked for directions, the nearest gas station, the time of day, they've asked Jim as if the rest of us don't exist.

I think that Rosie Ruiz got caught when the cabbie pulled Jim over to ask directions to the Fenway.


I hop along. Taking mental notes and trying to capture all of the banter for a one act play that HAS to be in our runs. I take in Lou's sage advice on dating. When I was involved with a much younger woman, Lou noted that "Old is now cool." A few weeks later when that had fallen apart, he took a more serious tone with "forty three is the new forty three."

But there is a play in all that, and large transitory chapters of a book, and none of the boys know that they're being noted for the basis of characters and when that time comes when they recognize themselves on the printed page...

I hope I will have worked on sprinting.


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Blogger Kathryn said...

so, what movie did Lou recommend? and Garden State is always appropriate

4:34 PM  
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