Let’s talk about jogging. In the Park Ave area. I go ’bout … twice a month. These are my stories.
Last time I went jogging before this evening, had to be a Saturday. Probably afternoon. My normal baby-jog is Vick A to Park to Berkeley; East back to Vick. Simple. On this particular jog I bargained that if I made it to East, I could walk the rest. Sun was shining. Breeze was warm. Nice stroll down the Avenue would feel good. (Out of shape.) But Roc had something else in store …
Caravan. As I round East, I see a caravan. No joke. I mean, these were Urban Gypsies. Dude with bike in full-on blue sweat suit. Check that: Dude walking beside bike as he screamed at woman with old-lady grocery cart, recycling bin ‘o’ things, and ruck-sack-tent. Woman donned all black, literally head-to-toe, with some sort of veil. (…It was 80 degrees.) She stooped down to refill what appeared to be a blue Roc City recycling bin that, already, was filled to the brim. No big. Just a couple of Urban Gypsies, right?
Well I bet you thought I f*@$ed her too! Huh?! Gypsy man brazenly yelled as I, rosy-faced and out of breath, walked by. Her? She’s a bit young, dontchya’ think? Gypsy woman retorted, things gathered into bin. (Fully expected some sort of accent. Eastern European or Irish if you will. Excuse the stereotypes… Sounded more mid-west. Rural Ohio, perhaps.) WELL I DIDN’T F*@$ her okay, I didn’t! And I didn’t F*@$ the other lady either!!!
By the time I got half way down East Ave. gypsy man was crazed. Not only was he still referring to me (at which point I decided I wasn’t so out of shape and began jogging again), but he was also over-sharing about his relationship with other-gypsy partner. All I remember thinking–and excuse the self-preservationist mind-set–was: I’m nearly the “other-other” woman at this point. If he starts hitting lady-with-the-tent, someone else is going to have to pull over and assist. Didn’t have my cell phone either, so… and it never got to that. …Gypsies. Urban Gypsies. They exist.
This evening. Twilight. ‘Twixt dawn & dusk if you will (Yeats/Mary Breen/IRL shout-out! Just go with it.) Same loop. Nearing Berkeley. Pretty popular corner. Lots of restaurants, bars, outside seating. But during a twilight jog (moon was gooooooorgeous), not so much. So OF COURSE when I round Park & Berkeley–decked out in gray stretch pant, Adidas track jacket–gaggle of guys–poof!–just appear. Poof. Like 7 or 8 (4-5, same thing) loitering on the corner.
Strategically, I avoid eye-contact. Duh. … And not so strategically, almost B-line–smack into one. (Cute. Dark hair. Gray Henley. I mean, pretty cute. Cute enough that I’m worried he’ll coincidentally read my blog, see that I docu’ed this, and be freaked-out. That kind of cute.) Accordingly, as I almost eat his face, dude yells Hey! Are you married?Ha-haha.
Okay for one: He should be a wee embarrassed. There are so many more witty lines he could have thrown my way. Like ………………………. You goin’ my way? …Oh God, okay. So this leads to my response.
Yeah??? Awesome, Babs. Love the repartee-under-pressure. Soon as I said it, tasted the lameness. Like old, stale gum on my tongue. Tasted it. …Continue jogging and leave it alone, right? Right????
But she’s a girl! Ha-haha.
Topped his lameness. Could have kept on going, lame-ball was in his court. But I stole it, I stole the ball-of-lame. I mean, for all they know, I am married, and I am married to a girl. Which means I answered seriously, his un-serious question. Which makes me the lamest. …Continue jogging and leave it alone, right? Right????
That’s a joke.
Said firmly. As though I inflicted offense upon myself. As though I am now backtracking upon my own sarcasm which–cardinal rule of wit–ya’ don’t do. Billy Shakes taught us this, no? …Oh, BarbaraEllen.
See, good thing about jogging is … Ya’ just keep moving. Like when you trip and a bunch of cars or another person notices. NOT AN ISSUE. Next car you see, next person you pass, they have no idea. Like starting all over with each step, really. So take that gypsy man and cute boy. UGH noise.