Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Third Person Runner

Serena knew she should turn around. The sun had dropped behind the Castle twenty minutes before, the sky was quickly changing from a its rich royal blue to indigo, and that light, refreshing sprinkle of rain was now a bitter-cold shower blocking her vision and soaking her clothes and trainers; but where to go, which of the many twisting streets would take her back to campus? She had paid very little attention to where she was going, concerned only with running off the day’s stress that weighed so heavily on her shoulders, and keeping pace with the beat of the music that flowed from her iPod. Her muscles, despite being pushed harder than usual were cooling with the evening temperature, and the curried rice she ate for lunch bringing sweat to her brow. She recognized several of the store fronts on the street stretching in front of her, that boulangerie was open on Sundays, and she had stopped into the bar next to it once, asking the moustachioed owner for directions. Serena started off with hopes that this familiar rue would take her home just as the Caesar’s Jerk It Out began pumping through her headphones. It was just what she needed to make the final push home. This ‘second wind’ got her head bobbing and her feet splashing through puddles at a strong pace. In fact, she was disappointed to see a large roundabout crossing the road in front of her; she would be forced to slow down—if not stop completely while waiting for traffic. As she approached, she saw a break in the flow of tiny, economy cars entering the whirlpool and decided to sprint through the gap. Crossing, she neared the edge of the far side bike lane, and jumped over a patch of gravel left by road workers from the last big snow. Proud of her slick, gazelle-like maneuvering, she glanced at the driver waiting for her to reach the other side of his lane. He smiled and winked as she nodded her head and, keeping her deft speed, advanced a few more strides. But, in taking her eyes off the pavement at her feet, Serena didn’t see the large patch of wet leaves in front of her…or the mammoth pile of dog poo laying underneath.
Her pace not affected by her anonymous flirtation, her right foot hit the leaves/ poo hard and skidded forward. By some miracle she did not immediately land in the gooey, brown—now skidmarked—mound, but her left knee buckled, bent, and landed on the sharp concrete curb, causing her body to launch forward onto the sidewalk. As Serena’s face scraped across the stone, headphones ripped from her ears, she thought not about the pain shooting through her body (her knee and jaw—both of which she had landed on would hurt for days), but the guffaws and honking horns bellowing from the cars in the roundabout. The rising laughter rendered her completely incapable of a graceful recovery and she slowly, painfully rose to meet the flashing headlights celebrating her face-plant into the gutter.
Head down, pace now somewhere around a slow limp, Serena continued up the street to her dorm. It was much closer than she had thought, but her recently incurred injuries forced her to take her time, and double the effort. It was then that she vowed to publicly humiliate—and possibly inflict pain on any and all French dog owners and parents of young children leaving their broods’ feces in the streets of this otherwise pleasant and pedestrian friendly country. She will not sleep until a steaming pile of justice is served to each and every one of them.


Blogger European said...

oh sh*t

5:39 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

True story?

9:08 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

Unfortunately, a very-- painfully true story.

5:29 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

ouch. But think of the fun you will have telling it in the future years.....:)

5:39 PM  

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