A year ago, I was blogging every day of the month as part of my #MakeNovemberTolerable campaign. I’ve long despised November for all the negative things that seem to converge upon this month, and last year’s effort was to see the beautiful things among memories of my dog dying, my Internet friend dying, and the swirling malaise that plucks leaves from branches, twirling them to the cold floor.
Six months ago, I decided to be reckless. I was out running by a lake near my home in Asheville as that all-too-common feeling of stuckness squelched my every step. I needed a change — what else is new? — something to plan, somewhere to run. As I literally ran in this moment of desperation, my thoughts latched onto the notion of a half-marathon.
I’d run my first half four years ago as part of a 25th birthday celebration that also included my baptism and a coastal trip with my parents. After triumphantly finishing that race under two hours, I’d unofficially decided to run a half every year thereafter as a way to keep me physically in check, geared toward some grand physical goal.
I’ve watched approximately seven Boy Meets World episodes in their entirety, though plenty of passing clips. I’ve blogged about this show in the past, including its spinoff, because my younger sister would watch it after school, and the strong friendship between Corey and Shawn always kept my eyes craning.
Lately, life circumstances have again caused me to draw from the well of this TGIF sitcom.
I’m a sarcastic fellow. A dark fellow. A sad and sickly fellow with a twisted sense of humor that must often be tempered among the sunny masses.
The older I get, the more cynical I’ve grown — or devolved. However you look at it. More and more frequently, I tell myself there’s just no point in reaching out to others, again and again and again, just to maintain a friendship that will ultimately prove fatal.
I still remember sitting in that YMCA conference room last March, my third day of training for this new job and just my fourth day living in Asheville. I stared out the giant bay windows, mesmerized by flaky snow drifting downward from a vast gray expanse.
This city I’d only ever known for summer camps and tanktops now threw me a new, wintry contrast.