Burning Calories and Bridges

The other day, while the springtime sun burned away the lies of the world, I went for a run.

I did not run atop a treadmill, as is my fashion. Instead, I stepped outside the cozy, fragrant confines of my home and went running down the sidewalks of my neighborhood, like a common vagrant. I set a brisk, confident pace for myself by imagining I was being trailed by animals of unimaginable ferocity. I find that allowing myself to vividly imagine the horror of my body being clawed open for the filthy snouts of these beasts to feed upon ensures that I won’t get lazy and start walking.

My run that afternoon was particularly enjoyable because along the way I happened upon several of my friends. My old adversary Tom Hipps slowed down as he passed by in his car. Shouting from the street at me like a retarded man on vacation, he startled me and caused me to break my stride. I sidled over to say hello, but our halting conversation made clear that the lingering tensions from the breakup of Three String Chord have yet to heal. I will never forget the fury I felt in early 2009 as I sat in impatient silence while Tom and Craig exchanged farts and giggles.

A few minutes later, I came across my friends the Goodwins and their two kids. As they enjoyed their family walk, I lumbered by in my sweat-drenched shirt and grunted unnaturally. The combination of my wrenching physical agony and longstanding inability to make comfortable chit-chat conspired together in one wholly strange and unsatisfying encounter. I’m sure to them it just seemed like some open-mouthed, sweaty degenerate had brushed by while shouting something slurred and indecipherable. Indeed, I imagine this is how I come across most of the time.

Soon enough, I was home to the fatigued arms of my pregnant wife (who is repulsed by my perspiration) and my son (who is generally more interested in the cats). I retired to the basement to recover in cool, dim isolation. The workout had been a success – my assymetrical galumphing managed to simultaneously burn calories and bridges. This is my gift.

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6 Responses to Burning Calories and Bridges

  1. Tim Hopps says:

    Our conversation was a bit awkward, only because when I myself am running, I hate it when I have to break my stride to stop and make chitchat… it’s too hard to get going again, and of course running is far more important than talking to someone. I figured you felt the same way, and were silently praying I’d shut up and leave you alone. But now I know you’re holding a grudge because of something that was your fault anyway. If you would have farted and giggled with me & Craig, we’d still be together today. Someone always has to spoil the fun.

  2. John says:

    Just passing through to see what the local plebs are rambling about these days.

  3. Tim Hopps says:

    John, are you jealous that, out of his two readers, he picked ME to write about today? I just can’t get the smug grin off my face. (hint: you’ll probably need to stalk him and interrupt him at something to make the JLP. I’m going to do it all the time now.)

  4. John says:

    You might have gotten one blog post Tim, but this entire site is a result of my years of hard work covertly entering his house each night, feeding his cats opiates, and awkwardly standing beside his bed until he begins to stir each morning.

    • Tim Hopps says:

      Curses! Foiled again!!
      P.S. Loved your comment on my website, John. If you do indeed show up at one of my concerts holding up a giant cutout of Peter’s face, I will bestow upon you the most inspired performance of my career. Even better than the one where the girl jumped onstage and grabbed my… well, let’s just say I hit a super high note.

  5. John says:

    I didn’t realize you actually knew and worked with Peter. I’m sorry, Tim.

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