“Good morning, America!”
He says this to me every morning, usually as I’m passing him on my way out the door, while he unloads the power tools I’m trying to escape.
“Good morning, Evidio.”
“All this noise I’m making. I’m going to have to take you out to dinner to repay you.” He raises both hands in surrender, beaming. “I have no choice! I must take you out!”
He’s a smooth operator. Always smiling, always cracking jokes. When he and his crew have to work at my place, I make coffee and breakfast, and it’s been nice getting to know him over the years. He was very supportive during the strike, even though it meant less work for him, too. He started working on a project just at the same time my job ended, so we’ve been seeing more of each other lately than usual.
I want to write about this weekend’s Festival of Books experience, but before I go all nerdtastic on you, and continuing the “Where Are They Now” aspect to my posts lately (Michelle is working on an update about her mom for all y’all), I have to give excited props to my former roommate Ray, who spent yesterday running the OK City Marathon.
Dan. I want you to guess what Ray Prewitt did this morning.
Okay. He stole a boat and –
Hmm. Okay, he was making this television show about a –
He has this chicken and –
I am literally out of ideas, particularly if this has nothing to do with a chicken.
Today, as Ray rehashed the details to me, we realized that we were both lapped by the same hunchback. Which is awesome.
“Pam, I have to write about this, because I have to warn the world. Never run a marathon.”
“I know, Ray. I know.”
“Lady, it’s all your fault I did it in the first place. I figured, well, if Pam did something, it must be a good idea.”
“No, Ray. It hurts. I never tell people to run a marathon or write a book. They both hurt and take way too long.”
“But thank God there’s no second draft of a marathon.”
“My friend Andy once said to me, ‘I couldn’t possibly be interested in running one mile, much less twenty-six of them in a row.’ And I said, ‘That’s because you like yourself, and have nothing to prove.’”
“Oh, lady. Ain’t that the truth.”
Ray wrote about his experience, and boy can I relate. … except for the part where he likens the entire thing to being involved in extreme porn.
“You don’t notice the time going by,” said Pamela Ribon, who credits Britney Spears’s “Toxic” for her “fifth wind” during the 24th mile and sixth hour of the ultrahumid Maui marathon in September. — Running the Digital Marathon
Did I really say I didn’t notice the time going by? That’s hilarious. This is how you end up conning yourself into running another one.
As a reward, I put on my headphones. My marathon playlist keeps me moving. I see stee pass in his car down the highway. I’ll see him again in about an hour. I run the numbers. 15, 25, 27, 37, 39, 49, 51, 101. It’s all about getting that medal.
It rains, just slightly.
“You know, your father was proud of you for more than just that race.”
“I know, Ma.”
“He just didn’t always know how to say it.”
I got up at three in the morning. Sprang from the bed, actually, when the alarms went off. (Two different alarms). I got dressed. Wrote sleeping stee a note. He woke up and took pictures of me applying sunscreen. Took a few bites of apple and made a cup of tea.
I left the iPod, as I don’t like breaking rules, walked to the elevator, decided I definitely needed the iPod and ended up knocking on the wrong door trying to get back in. Panicked, I flattened against the wall and tried not to breathe as whomever I woke up answered to see who the hell was knocking so early in the morning.
“But why do you want to do this?” my mom asked in that tone, the worried whine of motherhood.
“For a lot of reasons,” I answered. “Because I want to, and because I don’t think I can, and… well, probably because Dad and that race when I was in the third grade.”
She sighed. She remembered.
I don’t know if I wrote about this before. Probably. Yep. I totally did. It’s worth reading, because it explains things a little.
“Just be careful out there,” Mom said. “Don’t hurt yourself.”
“Mom, it’s 26.2 miles. It’s going to hurt.”
More sighing. “Good luck.”
Leaving Los Angeles, I got a few tips on surviving New York during the holidays. I was told:
1. I’d need heavy clothes. An enormous coat I didn’t own. Lots and lots of layers and sweaters and basically I’d need to go buy a new wardrobe and a huge suitcase to put it all in.
2. I shouldn’t wear earrings because it would be so cold that the bars in my earlobes would freeze and hurt.
3. I was going to need to wear long underwear, and I needed boots that could survive getting soaked and I’d need to buy those boots and gloves and sweaters and did anyone mention the huge coat?
4. There was going to be a subway strike, and I’d be stranded and alone.