20. Closer to divine

“God, every time I see someone running, it just makes me tired.”  I said

“I loved to run,” she said in an exhale of cigarette smoke.  “It was freeing.”

“Yeah?”  I exhaled my own smoke.  I couldn’t imagine ever having the lungs of a runner, then turning to smoking.  But then again, I’d never been a runner.

“It was like . . . they couldn’t touch me.”


“Anyone.  I would run so fast and so hard and so long that when I stopped I wouldn’t know where I was, or who I was, I would just feel like I was a supreme being, placed at random on some city street, with the lesser people around me.”

“Why did you stop?”

“I didn’t want to.  I was running one day, completely in my place of divine existence.”  She stopped to inhale and exhale deeply.  “And I got hit by a car.”

“A car came up on the sidewalk and hit you?”

“No.  I ran into the street.”

“So what do you do now?”

“I watch the runners, and I hate them for pretending to be what I once was.”


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