Running from The Apocalypse

This morning I’m running from The Apocalypse.

Now, on my best day (that’s with six months of consistent training and ten pounds off my body) I’m usually a middling to average age grouper. I may be able to pull off sub-nine miles in ideal (cool, low humidity) conditions. But The Apocalypse rarely comes for you in ideal conditions. This particular morning was no different. An unexceptional fog thickened the air just enough to obscure the streetlights–blurring the shadows–and keep the exhaust fumes and fireplace smoke hanging low–a pungent irritant. Morning sounds took on that peculiar fog-enhanced quality–muffled, yet at the same time enhanced.

All these characteristics coalesced in a keen way–letting my senses get a whiff of just how close The Apocalypse was getting and how fast it was gaining on me. Because The Apocalypse was never quiet and it stank.

That was to be expected of course. The Apocalypse was a big deal. And though it could swiftly sweep across towering mountain ranges, vast oceans and even Michigan Avenue in Dunedin, FL, it was anything but subtle.

That made getting caught by The Apocalypse even more demeaning–more destructive. I could hear it coming and I could not accelerate. I could hear the stab of one foot and the drag of the other–not an efficient stride in the least. But the power and endurance of The Apocalypse made up for that. It simply kept coming–relentless. It didn’t stop for water or Gatorade or a gel–it plowed ahead. It endured. It persevered. It never stopped.

As I passed the fire station the drag of The Apocalypse’s one foot echoed like thunder off the huge garage doors. It was closing in.

I tried to run faster–to make my feet lighter. I sucked in more air–through my mouth. Through my nose. It was thicker now–like a fresh frozen milkshake laboriously drawn through a straw of inadequate diameter. It lingered in my nose hairs–my nasal passages–and saturated my olfactory receptors with the burned diesel fuel stink of The Apocalypse.

Apocalypse Ahead Rusty Sign under CloudsMy shirt was saturated–dampness from the fog mixed with the moist, foul breath of The Apocalypse closing in. I was almost to the stoplight at Pinehurst Road–my turnaround point–and contrary to a typical morning the sky became claustrophobically darker.

I ran hard to the intersection and abruptly pivoted 180 degrees to face The Apocalypse–better to be annihilated facing the darkness. Right? Right. Yet as I completed my pivot and fell back into my normal stride I wasn’t stopped by a wall of chaos, the screeching of evil or the stink of rot–I ran unimpeded. I ran all the way home. I didn’t run any quicker. But I did run with something in my head–the idea for this little story.

~ by kipwkoelsch on March 12, 2019.

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