It starts at the ocean. Starts as a lament. An early morning, a sorrowful one. This is where my run starts. At the ocean. At the pier where the fishermen cast their lines on this great still morning, it begins.
I’m not wearing a watch. I live near the ocean so that’s where it starts, my run, and I don’t know when I will be back. Forgetting is so long.
There’s a speed you can run at to narrow your focus. There’s a threshold speed. I’m crossing this threshold more often these days. These are the speeds at which I’m running. My internal rhythm thumping. My internal rhythm dropping a beat. If you run fast enough everything near you becomes a blur and in the distance only the end of your sight line is sharp. Sometimes just a single point, once you’ve crossed that threshold.
The unwritten rule is: you don’t slow down. Once you increase the pace you don’t slow down. It’s a gentlemen’s rule, for when you’re running with others. If you pick up the pace you need to be able to hold it.
It’s ok to look behind you. I look behind me. The ocean has nearly disappeared. It’s down below. That’s the ocean right there, through the gap between the Arbutus trees. This is a long run. I told you I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’m going to the summit.
Trees flash by. The bridge I am crossing is a double. Branches like claws above, a stream below. My breath thrust into the air. Heart thumping. A storm is coming. Between beats I press on. Pulsing like electronic underground. Streaking towards something. Streaking away. I want to fly.
I punch through. Unprepared. I look at my wrist for the time; it’s instinct. I’m not wearing a watch. Time doesn’t matter. I punch through and windmill to stop.
There is no wind. The noise has died. My breath. There’s a truth up here. There are dark things too. My breath. There’s a tear in the open. A fissure. I can see it.
I breathe. I think… I think I can slip through.