Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm Not Invisible -- Part 2

Back in the early '90s Judy needed some pretty scary surgery. We had to go to St. Luke's hospital in Houston to fill out the admittance papers, along with those scary forms you have to give them. You know the ones.

We located the hospital and found the office we needed. It was a busy place. While Judy talked to someone at a desk about the forms, I sat down to wait. I had a book with me, so I read a little, but I was too nervous to concentrate. So I closed the book and looked around. I noticed that down at the other end of the waiting room there was a guy who was really giving me the eye.

That wouldn't have bothered me if the guy had been someone like Mr. Peepers. However, he looked a lot less like Wally Cox and a lot more like Dog the Bounty Hunter. And he used the same fashion consultant.

I turned to see if there was anybody near me he could be looking at, but there wasn't anybody sitting on either side of me. I opened my book again and hoped I was imagining things.

Surely he couldn't be looking at me. I mean I don't hang out with guys who can change tires with their teeth.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the guy get up. He started in my direction, but he stopped near a table, picked up a magazine, and sat down. When he opened the magazine, I could see that he was looking at me over the top of it.

Judy was still filling out forms, clearly oblivious to what was going on. It was cool in the room, but I was sweating.

The guy got up again and came over to me. I looked up at him. I don't know how tall Dog the Bounty Hunter is, but this guy was around seven feet. Okay, maybe not, but that's how he looked at that moment.

"Hey," he said. He had a voice like Jesse Ventura's.

"Hi," I said. Or something like that.

"I think I've seen you before," he said.
"Uh," I said.

"Aren't you the guy who jogs past Alvin High School in the afternoons?"

"Uh, maybe."

"I see you nearly every day when I come in from work."

He sat down and we talked a while. He was a pretty nice guy. I never asked him what he was there for. I hope it wasn't for anything like Judy needed to have done.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm not Invisible

When I'm out pounding the pavement, I rarely think about who might be passing me in a car. Even if I did think about it, I usually can't see who's behind the wheel. For one thing, I have poor vision. And for another, windshields these days tend to be pretty dark and do a good job of whoever's driving the car.

The drivers can see me, but I never think about that, either, until somebody mentions it.

A couple of days ago, I was in the post office. I handed the postal clerk the package I wanted to mail, and she said, "Do you run every day?" It turned out that she drives to work every morning about the time I'm sweating it out on the streets of Alvin, and she sees me all the time. I told her that I run six days a week if I can, and her next question was the same one everybody else asks. "How far do you run?"

I used to be able to answer that one, but not anymore. There was a time when I ran eight minute miles. Those days are long gone. Now I have no idea how fast I run. I don't want to know. Maybe I'm in denial. At any rate, I used to run five miles. Now I just run for forty minutes. Maybe I'm going only three miles now, but if I am, don't tell me. As I said, I don't want to know.

So I told her that I didn't count the miles, just the minutes. She thought that was a good idea because she does the same thing. Every morning she gets up, has her coffee, and walks three minutes on the treadmill. Every little bit helps.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Weather Report

This morning it was 22° when I frolicked out the door to run. You folks who live Up North, and those of you who dwell on the plains and the mountains, might regard this as a mild and temperate spring day, but those of us who live a little closer to the bottom of the U. S. map think of it as (to use a technical term) mighty damn cold.

Even at that, however, it was better than yesterday when it was 29°. That's because yesterday it was overcast and a 10-20 mph wind was blowing down from the North Pole. Today, the sun was shining and there was only a light breeze. I could probably have worn my shorts, but I went with the longies instead. Well, I had the shorts on over the longies, if you want to get picky about it.

Not a bad run at all, and in fact I was sweating by the time I got home. I'd rather run on a day like this any time than to run during a Gulf Coast summer.