Lessons in Growing Up, #1:
Last Friday night I decided to go running, for a couple of reasons: 1. I had nothing else to do, 2. I haven't been able to run for weeks, and it felt about time to break the rules, and 3. I pride myself on being a night runner. Starting from the summer I was 15, I always tend to run at night once the days get hotter. Night running is such an unusual thing, not least of all because it is SHIT TERRIFYING. I've witnessed intense fights, stumbled on couples having sex, been threatened by wildlife, fallen on my face a few times, and interrupted plenty of pot-smoking teenagers. But running at night in the summer also encompasses all the things I love about the sport, at its heart: it's always quiet, you get felt up by a nice breeze, flowers smell better after dusk, and the aloneness doesn't feel lonely at all. Most of all, you're invincible. You're completely covered in dark and yet you're still invincible. As I started out on last Friday's night run, I felt all of it. It wasn't that dark out, and I even decided to dart through the scary woods behind the St Clair West station. Near Bathurst I stopped in a park to tie my shoelaces. Some old fat guy walking a pug waved me over. Nervously, I went. He shook his head as he spoke to me:
"You know, I wasn't going to tell you this, but I have to. A few weeks ago, right in that parking lot over there, I saw a girl get raped. She got raped by a black guy on a bmx bicycle. The police were all here, and it was on CP24--you didn't see it? And, my god, her face, she was so scared. So, you know, you just can't trust people, and you gotta be careful at night, and I just had to tell you, so."
So? I ran home faster than I ever have. Thanks for nothing, pug man.