I was sluggish and slow when I headed out for my run this evening and the heat didn't help. It's so hot and humid outside, it's like stepping into a sauna ( or like vacationing in hell in August), and to try and pep yourself up to run in that kind of heat is a bit difficult. But I did it, and despite the temperature, I was thinking that it was a lovely evening -- good summer smells, twilight air -- but then I saw This Couple approach me.
They were jogging along in perfect synchonization, both pairs of long legs hitting the sidewalk in exact unison. They were both making the stretchy shorts look good, and he was shirtless -- tanned muscles tight from the exertion of their challenging, yet satisfying run together -- and she, she was in just her sports bra and she had those chiseled abs that I sometimes poke around for on myself to see if they're under there hiding. They both glided along the surface of the pavement with their matching iPods belting out the same song I'm sure -- perhaps a soulful jazz riff; I don't know, but they both looked so peaceful.
Meanwhile, I was just working up to full chugging speed, so I was already pouring sweat and I'm sure my face was the beet red color it gets when I exert myself (they were artfully flushed, and I assume perspiring, but truly they looked like running ads for a skin care line). My t-shirt had the ring of sweat around my neck, and I could feel the boob sweat creeping down my non-so-flat stomach, and my shorts (gray cotton ones that bunch up between my thighs) were starting to get all moist from the sweat and they were balling up.
But I was thinking, fuck it, I'm just as good as they are, I'm just as much a runner. Maybe I don't look pretty, but dammit, I'm working hard out here. So I was feeling alright about myself despite the pretty people who weren't sweaty in the devil's heat.
Then a bug flew up my nose.
Now, I'm no strangers to bugs up my nose, but this son of a bitch went in their like a fighter pilot. It actually stung a bit when he made impact and my eyes began watering right away. He went straight up there into my left nostril. I started flailing my arms in front of me helplessly and I was choking and snorting. I coughed and sputtered to a stop and the models for "Runner's World" jogged on past as I bent over next to the path and tried to exhume the gnat's corpse from deep inside my nasal cavity, but I couldn't fish it out, so I believe the bug went somewhere straight up into my brain. (Reminds me a bit of the time my step-brother, Timmy, sniffed a Hot Wheel tire up his nose and we had to go to the emergency room. But that's a story for another time.)
I decided right then and there to cut the run short and walk back home. I still have an itch in my nose; I'll probably blow it tomorrow and see the small, black body of that doomed gnat. Poor little fella, he probably never knew what hit him