Wednesday, July 21, 2010

run forrest

I ran two miles today on the treadmill which would be a non-event except that I used to be an insane runner in college. I mean I was insane, but I didn't realize it until I moved to Chicago and eventually stopped running altogether. And by insane I mean I ran 50+ miles per week just because I could. Because like Forrest Gump, who said the reason he ran across the country was "because I could," I too realized that my motivation to run was "because I could." Which, BTW, is a terrible reason to run, my knees still crack every time I climb a stair.

But these were the hilly back roads of Ohio and nearly Indiana, actually one time I really did run to Indiana, and it's just blissful. The dogs hang out in the same spot in their big farm backyards and each day they bark at you like they've never seen you before even though they see you at roughly the same time everyday, and this assurance is always comforting even though they seem quite disturbed that your strange body is in their field of vision traversing their cornfields.

Anyway, to this day I wish I could have packed up Chestnut Rd./Brookville Rd./OH State Rt. 732, because my route had lots of names, in my suitcase after graduation. Except maybe not, because I was insane. Also, in retrospect, I'm not sure running umpteen miles each day alone into the cornfields of rural America was, I dunno, safe? But here's what's even worse: I talked about running ALLTHETIME, to my friends who didn't run, or if they did, ran a normal amount, i.e. not for two hours each day. Seriously all the time. "OMG here's what I do when I come across roadkill/my iPod runs out/I have a test to study for but instead I'm going to run because I'm JUST THAT HARDCORE and omg the fact that I run for a long time is SO relevant to your life and all our conversations, no all of them." I bore myself just imagining the conversations I subjected my friends to. Sorry y'all.

My point if I have one is that ever since I stopped my compulsive nuttybuckets running, I've been scared of running at all, which aligns perfectly with my other avoidance issues. But back in the day I ran half marathons and trained up until one week before a full one (stupid stress fracture) and by gosh, I might still be legit? But wait, dear my life: maybe this time I could be not insane?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

our town

Read this article first.

One of my first ever real memories is the day Coppell got a grocery store. It was a big deal because before Minyard's opened, we had to drive to Carrollton, a town away. It was 1986, population nothing, and I was pushing four years old. We were a farming community with two elementary schools, one middle school/high school hybrid, and a lot of cows.

Today, Coppell is larger and louder, but as much as the population and amount of traffic lights have exploded, it still feels a lot like 1986 to me. The last few times I've gone home after an extended period away, the same thing comes to mind: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." The six-mile route I used to run is still just as green, the bleachers on the little league fields are still just as packed, and the neighbors are still vehemently aware of the unchaperoned party your 17-year-old had while you were out of town. My college friends who've visited call it idyllic and things like "Pleasantville" and "Mayberry." Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Life there was pretty typical of upper-middle class suburbia: protected and sheltered but as susceptible to growing pains as the next town. Our teachers were involved, our parents held accountable and so, by extension, were we. And that, I suspect, kept me out of heaps of trouble. My hometown, like an old friend, is a familiar place, safe on so many levels.

And that's why the news of the apparent murder-suicide of Coppell's mayor Jayne Peters and her teenage daughter Corinne is so shattering. I can count on about three fingers the number of violent crimes that have occurred in Coppell since I've been alive. Few, if any, have involved children, certainly none in this brutal manner. I knew Jayne Peters in high school through Coppell Youth Leadership. She was our facilitator, and herself a Miami grad. I've tried to picture my friends and I at her daughter Corinne's age, right after graduation, and how we would have dealt with something like this. Like most fresh-out-of-high-schoolers, we were consumed with things like where we were meeting that night, and what outfit we'd wear to the first day of sorority recruitment. And maybe that's a testament to how sheltered we were, but I think that's kind of the point for people who make their lives and raise their families in a place like Coppell. It's a good sheltered.

And my hope here is not to defend anything about this woman or what she did, but to acknowledge the morale tonight in a town that 24 years ago didn't have a grocery store, and 24 hours ago would never have believed that today would ever happen. Because Coppell just grew up in the saddest of ways.

Friday, July 2, 2010

read this if you like crazy

Ever seen the video of that chick who shrieks so loud it shatters a mirror? If not, imagine the noise you might make if a one-eyed sloth grabbed you in a dark alley and shoved an axe in your face.

This is the sound I woke up to last night, and by "this" I mean the most guttural, sternum-rattling scream I've ever heard not on a movie. I went out to our third floor balcony ready to dodge bullets because heck, clearly some woman in major distress needed rescue from a heroic samaritan like myself, RIGHT!?? What I saw in our circle drive was a guy in a hoodie sitting on the curb and a girl who definitely watches Jersey Shore standing over him acting all satanic. So I hollered down at "Snooki," let's call her, to ask if she was OK, obviously a redundant question because who screams like that to communicate that things are hunky dory?

This is a transcript of what followed:

Rachel: Are you OK?
Snooki: CALL THE COPS!
Rachel: Do you live here?
Snooki: I used to.
Guy in Hoodie: Give me back my keys.
Snooki (stumbling): @&*$&**@$##$$@^^@*!!!
Snooki, (trips over curb; stays down): Callllthahcoppphhsss!!!!!!!

Oh yes, Snooki is wasteface. So I'm debating whether to call 911 at this point, because it would go something like, "Um hi, this wasted girl who looks like Snooki is screaming at a boy in a hoodie who wants his keys back and I'm not sure why I'm calling you but she used to live here!" and then, PHEW, the police zoom up in a blaze of glory, because did they hear the scream too?

Snooki, seconds ago a 187 on a 1-100 drunk scale, suddenly regained the ability to stand up and walk and speak normally again, PTL, IT'S A MIRACLE! Guy in Hoodie gets handcuffed and they're both questioned for 15 or so minutes. Well, he's questioned while Snooki pouts on the curb a few yards away. Finally, an officer has her sign something and she drives off (yeeee, bad idea) in a Mercedes. Guy in Hoodie, presumably her ex-boyfriend, gets de-cuffed and what follows is, no joke, what he tells the cops:

He came home.
She was sitting on his couch. In the dark.
Rip-roaring drunk.
They broke up three months ago and he hadn't seen her since.
He didn't know she had keys to his apartment.
Until tonight.