The natural sedatives released through the act of running are a powerful addiction. I mean, exhausting yourself is its own form of sedation, but that's not what I am talking about, I can be exhausted and anxious. I am referring to endorphins, or whatever they are which make it possible for me to get through my day with an easy, focused mind.
Thursday night, and yesterday morning, I was miserable. There is simply too much going on for me to be conifdent and comfortable. How can I relax, here in the most relaxing of places, when I have less than a month to find all the necessary pieces for the Aug. 1 performance, there are postcards to be printed and shipped for the fringe, summer arts camp begins on Monday, and there is a constant parade of final reports and grant proposals due from now until, well ... there are always grant proposals and final reports due.
I went running, and it all slowed down. My mind was settled. I could be happy, thoughtful, chatty, pleasant, and buy a new pair of jeans at Goodwill.
This morning is simply gorgeous. Coffee and toast, on the porch, cool but sunny, kids on the swing, shooting pool in the garage, the girl took a sunshower with grandma. I have a small pain in my head. I try to think slowly, to relax. It won't happen, not easily. This is our second full day - we don't have to leave until tomorrow, but it feels like Sunday afternoon now, I am not here, I am then and I am wasting this glorious opportunity.
The wife and MP are off seeing great-grandma, who keeps falling down these days. When they return I have been promised a run.
Is it physical exercise, or the act of running itself? The act of running, in spite of the repetition (out to the rec center, water and pee, then back the same way) creates the feeling of progress. I am moving towards something. Or running away from it. That feels good, too.
Distance: 4.25 miles
Weather: humid & overcast. Herons on the Hocking.
Before too much time had gone by, I was already making plans for a second tape of songs that made me miserable (to be entitled "more pathetic") but I set that aside. Life was very busy at the time, or at least it felt that way. Rehearsals until 11 two nights a week, performances until 12:30 am two nights a week (that doesn't count drinking) leaving three nights a week to be with my new wife, three nights to make up for all the absent nights. That takes work, too.
It wasn't until the following spring, when I was on the verge of an actual mental breakdown that I put together another mix, this one swinging from contemporary songs to those from my adolscence ... or about adolescence. Most of them have a either a seriously dark, sexual tone to them (violent in cases) or just a deep, childish melancholy.
I have to remind myself that I put together this collection BEFORE I started a long-distance relationship with the person I am married to now. But it became my personal soundtrack for that time. Crazy.
(Again, this is not the complete tape - these are just songs I picked out from it that are more or less good to run to.)
really pathetic (1994)
closer to god - nine inch nails
the upstairs room - the cure
so. central rain - r.e.m.
down in it (shred) - nine inch nails
angst in my pants * - sparks
the night before * - the beatles
spin the bottle * - the juliana hatfield three
save a prayer - duran duran
closer - nine inch nails
(OMG! It's KLOHZ-er, not KLOH-ser!)
Celebrate your independence, y'all!