A Slog through the Slush

Here’s how the conversation, via text, went:

It’s all slush and big puddles out there do you think we should run?  And it is raining, too.

Sorry, just saw this.  Let’s go for it.  We won’t know till we try

Okay.  I am just getting ready now.

Take your time driving over.

That was at 6:45 this morning.  The snow, rain, freezing rain, and sleet had started the night before.  I was out with friends in Philly, and late at night, heading for the train, we marveled at the enormous size of the snow flakes falling steadily.  With the temperature close to freezing, they turned to slush as they hit the ground.  This morning, I stayed in bed as late as I could but still make a 7:00 AM start to my morning run.  My running partner and I had the above conversation and so I was committed to the run.  I was relieved, since I didn’t want to be the one to make the call, knowing this would not be our best run of the year.

We had to gingerly pick our way from his front door out to the street, not wanting to start running with cold, wet feet.  The road had not been plowed, and while the “inches” of snow were not that much, it was all wet and forming large pools of ice slurry.  We started off very slowly, running along areas cleared by tire tracks, being careful not to slip as we went downhill towards our loop around the park.  We had to run in the street rather than the multi-use path, which was completely covered by this slurry.  As we ran, we picked up the pace a bit.  Along the Cooper River, the geese were out in force, coping with the conditions without a problem, as far as I could see.  Approaching the far end of the loop around the park, the path was one large slush puddle, which we muddled through.  Now my shoes were wet, and my feet cold.  On the far side of the park, the road was narrowed by construction.  We had to run along on the road, with cars passing us closely and spraying ice and frozen water on our legs.  I think it was partially on purpose, since not all the cars came that close.  We moved over to the construction zone, running in ruts created by a truck that had gone through recently.  As we ran we were able to have a nice conversation, since the forced slow pace made talking that much easier.  We talked about running in the winter, and also about the play I saw last night at the Lantern Theater.  The play, called “Doubt, A Parable”, by John Patrick Shanley, takes place in a Catholic School in the Bronx, in 1964.  The story is that of an older nun, the principal of the school, suspecting the priest of having sexual relations with one of the boy students.  The story gets complicated when one hears the boy’s mother’s side of her son’s life.  The play takes only ninety minutes with a single act, and seems to leave out some crucial inner thoughts of the four characters.  One critic I read afterwards suggested the second act was when the audience discussed their feelings about the play.

Our run finished with a long uphill climb and then a flat last mile, still with the skies gray, and our feet cold and wet.  But accomplishing our seven miles, and then warming up with a change to dry socks and shoes, a dry shirt, and a hot cup of coffee was very satisfying.

A parable is a short narrative about individuals meant to be an example of a larger truth.  So, this narrative I relate to you shall also be short, and meant to convey that even when nature is uncooperative, getting out and doing is better than holing up and not doing.

 

iambic pentameter

Cover for "The Liar"

The Lantern Theater Company’s production of “The Liar”.

Is this not a blog ’bout running a race,

not a mere review of timing and pace?

Does inclusion of such other affection

demand an answer to this reflection?

To race or not to race, is that the question?

Nay, said Armstrong, not about the bike, then

what for the road runner would be the like?

For me and Kathleen, a night on the town!

It’s PATCO to Philly, with that we’re down.

Met with some friends at the Westmont station,

Then on to the Lantern, first, a conversation.

Sat with the director, down in “the lab”

of this tiny theater, for, (you guessed it), a confab.

Kate MacMillan, resident director,

there explained iambic pentameter.

She then went on, yawn in voice,

(must I put on a good face for this bunch)

no, she really was full of spice.

(The well hid strain to explain, just a hunch).

We then ascended the metal stairs

in this theater posterior to the

large cathedral, St. Stephen’s Basilica,

but, of faith, Episcopilica,

to find our way to unassigned chairs.

A bit like boarding a Southwest Airline,

One sits in any seat that one can find.

I like this form of letting patrons choose,

it lets us join together with our group,

worry not ’bout the ticket’s assigned spot,

select the seats that work best for our lot.

We settled in awaiting expectantly

a “translapted” Corneille French comedy.

Translapted, David Ives, the translaptor

created this word, a portmanteau (look it up)

of how he changed this play from long ago

about the time of Louis XIII and Richelieu,

a clever farce with parts a bit taboo.

David Ives adapted the translation,

changed the text to match our generation.

Hence the cunning linguist term, translaptation.

The actors all were brilliant in their parts;

timing’s crucial when throwing verbal darts.

The play’s about a liar, bet you guessed,

a young lawyer who seeks the fairer sex,

but is convinced the only way to score

is to lie, and lie, and to lie some more.

He takes on a servant, who can naught but tell the truth,

the plot, based on mistaken names, forsooth.

Dorante, the lead, relies on his glib gift

to prevent a nearly deadly rift,

while he woos a willing young coquette,

but whose name he misses on a bet.

Clarice, Lucrece, Isabelle, Sabine are

randy and ready for a love affair.

Or rather, seeking marriage, they are looking

for a soldier worth their hand they’re hoping.

Swords come out and in, a bit provoking.

Scenes change quickly, stage hands work like lightning.

The upshot this, a play most entertaining,

Well done by cast and crew, really, outstanding!

Borrowed photo of Caribou Cafe, from the internet.

The six in our party, (you thought four?)

departed Lantern Theater, heading for

Caribou Cafe, 12th and Walnut,

for a late dinner, beer, wine and more.

We were delighted to find music, live

sax and guitar, a jazz duo, good vibes.

A bit of dawdle, headed home late

At that hour, certainly a wait.

On to the PATCO concourse headed we

back to our beds, at home, ’twas two, not three.
But hark, what cry is that, what run did I?

Okay, eleven miles, marathon pace, feeling strong for Philly in one week.

Does this destroy the rhyming scheme I wrote?

Even Shakespeare sometimes got off note.
Frank K.

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