Runaway Parade



February 1, 2013

I had to run.  I shoved my feet into pre-laced running shoes still caked in the dried muddy film of yesterday’s park puddles.  Thinking the fresh air and motion would clear up all my mental rumblings and intestinal grievances, I hoisted myself up from the wood paneled floor and unbolted the door.  Swooped down the two dusty flights of stairs to street level.  Outside.  Wind slap.  My feet hit the pavement like bricks, pounding.  Hips spinning and popping.  Lungs heaving, alveolar sacs expanding and contracting.  Blood oxygenating, sparking venous return, heart racing to keep up.  

I thought maybe if I ran fast enough, I could shed my skin.  Somehow the inertia would become so great that my dermal layer would be seized and ripped off by the wind.  Then my blood would gush upon the sidewalk in sheets, organs spilling out one by one.  Liver—squish.  Gallbladder—splash.  Uterus—kerplop.  Tendons springing loose, muscles flapping behind until they too were torn off.  My heart would detach, dangling from cords of veins and arteries until their snap: violent ejection, heart bouncing off the road like a tennis ball (soon to be crushed by a nine-wheeler).  All my anatomy would spew out in a trail behind me along the sidewalk as I pummeled past the houses on my way to the park.  A skeleton sprinting, I would slam into a tree trunk, bones snapping and flying in all directions.

When I got to the park on this gray morning, anatomy fully intact, I made a mad dash for the lake.  Red, orange, gold leafed trees, vision blurred, colors swirling, I ran right up to the muddy edge, crunching dead leaves along the way.  I stopped abruptly, folded over my legs, panting.  Cyclists and runners streamed along the road through the park.  But luckily, no one was stationed anywhere near me.  So I jerked my torso back up to standing, took a deep breath, threw my hands in the air and belted out the deepest fullest sound of which my body was capable.  Its force shook the space.  I flung my arms around, over my head, side to side, jumping in place, hurling kicking motions, flailing as much as my body would allow.  Then I took off again, back to my house.  

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