The sounds that I’m making as I try to move right now.
The sighing. And grunting. And whimpering.
Like, I’m annoying the fuck out of myself right now.
No wonder Bo didn’t want to walk with me this morning.
As I hobbled into the house. From my 11 mile run with Rogue.
He struggled up into a standing position. Without whimpering. And said, “Finally! Let’s get our walk in.”
But as I slo-mo picked up his leash. Whimpering the entire time. He said, “Damn it. Never mind. Take your old ass on to the couch. It’s hot as fuck out there. And I am not carrying your cripple ass home.”
I needed the run, though.
Because there’s just all this shit collecting in my head. Like a back up of shit. Like when your septic tank overflows. Or whatever happens when you don’t get that shit pumped out regularly.
Except the shitter is my brain.
And it’s all kind of clogged up there.
Racial Justice. Climate change. School starting. Or not starting. Do I even have a job? The fuck is happening over in Portland? John Lewis died. Why is that bridge still named after a fucking KKK grand wizard? Why is the fucking KKK even still a thing? What is McConnell doing with the Voting Rights Act? Criminal Justice reform. Why do we still care more about punishing low level drug dealers and ignore every form of white collar crime that is actually damaging every single one of us? Sex trafficking. That. Actually. Happens. Here. Why am I still living in a three bedroom house? My kids are gone. I don’t need this much space. I’m just gonna fill it with books and cats. The pound is full again. I haven’t done anything for animal rescue in two years. I haven’t done anything for anything in two years. Why am I so useless? Just let me be useful.
Also. I still can’t wear pants with buttons.
So, I haven’t been able to get any of that out.
It’s just sitting in there. Constipating everything.
But when Rogue and I find ourselves on Roanoke or Mill Mountains, we somehow manage to process through a lot of shit. Like, a lot.
Sometimes I even end up in tears.
(Roanoke Mountain is hard.)
And while the POO run we’d originally discussed would’ve probably made for a better story. I just don’t think Peaks of Otter is as amenable to constipated brain processing.
It could be the elevation. I tend to spend my POO time trying to access sufficient oxygen. Which leaves very little room for constipated brain processing.
So, we showed up at “that last overlook before Roanoke Mountain…” We’ve had this conversation before.
It’s called Gum Spring.
I don’t know why we can’t learn that.
And we headed out to Mill Mountain.
Now, if we’d started with Roanoke Mountain. We could’ve not only gotten that bitch out of the way first. But we could’ve also watched the sunrise from the top.
But y’all saw all the shit clogging up my brain right now. Rogue’s is no better.
So we shared and processed and counseled our way over to Mill.
Took in the beauty.
Then headed back up Fishburn Parkway.
Got distracted by a trail shooting off the road. To our left. And decided to see where it goes.
Until we got to a sign 50 feet in. That said Chestnut Ridge.
Oh no. Nope. Uh uh. Absolutely not.
I’m not sure either of us has ever moved that fast. To get off of a trail. And back onto the road.
And the fact that neither of us recognized that we were stepping onto a section of Chestnut Ridge Trail speaks to our relationship with it. Why does that trail even exist.
And while I was content with 6ish miles. By the time we got back to our cars. Rogue wanted more.
So she made me keep going over to Roanoke Mountain.
Where the earth is reclaiming the road.
And Rogue is always confused. About how to get up and back down the mountain.
Dude. There’s, like, two options. How can you still be confused by this mountain.
At the top, Rogue let me sit down for a bit. And rest. Because the shooting pain was starting in my foot. And ankle.
And as I sat there, whining, a Vietnam Vet. A medic in the war. Who’d had men die in his arms. Who’d managed his PTSD by traveling the AT. Stopped and chatted with us. Telling us how appalled he is at how our country is acting today.
I can only assume he meant my whiney ass.
So, we got up. And hobbled back down the mountain.
That was me. I was hobbling.
Because when you stop. And restart. The pain shoots even more aggressively.
“Maybe see a doctor?”
Last time I saw my doctor, she told me I had cancer and ordered almost my entire $1,500 deductible worth of tests.
Just so I can find out I am old. But not cancerous.
So, that’s why I’m making all of these noises. And constantly switching out ice packs. And googling foot pain.
And don’t even make that stupid “take a break from running” suggestion. I may have a job to go to in two weeks. Running is the only way I’m gonna get those buttons secured.
Also. How often are you supposed to get those septic tanks pumped…?