jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


I did it! And it didn’t even really hurt that much. So thank you to everyone who wished me well, here, other places, with emails and phone calls. And thank you for the lurker power, too (yes, I know you are there, I can hear you breathing).

People ask me a lot of questions about this. Perhaps I will answer them in a series. Often I get “Isn’t it boring?” Um, yes. In between thinking about things that I can’t really remember by the time I’m done, this is sort of how my long runs go:

Mile 2: getting everything adjusted, hitch my shorts around, play with the cord on my ipod, scrunch my feet around in my sneakers. sweat is dripping off my chin.

Mile 4: notice little things that hurt, a shin, a toe, a knot between my shoulder blades. sweat is dripping off my elbows.

Mile 6: lungs start to seize up, use inhaler. my entire body is covered in dried sweat, and the fine crust of salt is acting like sandpaper wherever two body parts come together.

Mile 8: the little things that hurt don’t hurt anymore, endorphins are kicking in.

Mile 10: the pounding has compressed my spine, so my center of gravity has dropped lower into my hips, this makes me use different smaller muscles to pull my legs forward, different muscles to push off in my feet.

Mile 12: lungs seize again, more inhaler. I am tiring, and my emotions are rocketing around unmoored and loosened by my brain chemistry. My back is so tired it’s a struggle to keep my head up.

Mile 14: body parts are starting to holler at me, but I can only hear them dimly as my lability makes me have to control the desire to sing or weep in joy and frustration.

Mile 16: I am using every trick in the book to keep going, counting seconds, counting steps, doing math, making myself promises, berating myself, whatever it takes.

Mile 18: I feel like crying out of relief and amazement. Now I realize how stoned I am, as I walk, sodden, to the bus stop and watch the Empire State Building lit up like a bomb pop, red white blue.


Blogger remue-menage said...

O ttractor

it sounds like an ecstatic religious experience

beating yourself into a joyful, sodden bomb pop


11:53 AM  
Blogger slickaphonic said...

You know, when I used to go on long runs (in Indiana), I'd drive out to the middle of nowhere where the "city blocks" were at least 8 miles around (and you can't really cut through those fields). Once I was halfway, I had to do the half whether my body wanted to or not...And the runs were often punctuated by dogs chasing me, barking with snarling teeth (quite a nifty trick to get that adrenaline going again).

But wow. I am impressed. If there were a bus nearby to carry me home, I'm not sure I'd get much pass five miles.

1:32 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

fear is a powerful motivater. I am afraid of humiliating myself in the streets of Philadelphia. so I run as hard as I can.

5:42 PM  

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