|west seattle on a split personality weather day|
The practice 5k was this last Monday at Alki Elementary where I was assigned. And I had two running buddies because of a shortage of volunteers. Taylor was a Seahawks fan, dressed in leggings a hoodie and new running kicks. Margot wore floral Doc Martens and jean jacket, new braces on her teeth. They both excitedly talked at once, jumping in place, when the leaders would say, "Tell your running buddy your favorite color!" "Tell your running buddy your favorite fruit!" (Blue and ALL of them).
After getting to know each other's favorite things and warming up in the gym, we were out into the cold rain to run the 5k. My little cotton dressed running buddies were sopping wet by lap 2, or as Margot yelled "I'M SOPPED!!!" We ran the same little loop 6 times. Every 12 strides or so they'd stop and blurt out random announcements like, "My bangs are longer than my face!" or "Look at the tiny grill, do you think they have to cook tiny food on it?" "That house looks like a Mexican restaurant."
We jumped over every puddle as they grew larger and larger in the rain, and extra points were given for style. Spin around kick jumps were very popular with the judges. After clearing the big puddle on the back side of the loop we realized our voices echoed over the field. On three we yelled, ECHO!!!! And then Margot yelled "Hi OTHER MARGOT!" and when we got to the other side of the field a few minute later yelled back to her past self, "HI OTHER MARGOT!!"
When we approached the end of the last lap they both took off, elated to complete an entire 5k!! Then they went back to cheer on the last couple girls behind us. When got back to the classroom where we'd met they gave me hugs and were on their way.
I headed out in the wind and rain to run my old 6 mile loop. I could breathed in the oceany smell of West Seattle. The spray of the Puget Sound whipped up by the wind. I love the open window to the water there, on the "island" where I used to live. This corner of the world that feels like my home.
I haunted all the sidewalks I used to run. I flew past lit windows, TVs glowing blue. I ran past the places we used to eat, the little shops I love. Things were already different, changed in my absence. I felt hollow sadness, like the time I visited the house we moved away from in 6th grade. When I saw my old room and it was and it wasn't mine at the same time. Like seeing a ghost of myself.
As I ran through the dark streets of my old neighborhood it felt like whispering, "Hi other Sarah."