Thursday, February 14, 2008

Main Street Edmonds, 7:00 PM, Valentine's Day

The town of Edmonds is reminiscent of those perfect little fishing villages that us East Coasters get used to seeing, the perfect cedar shingled houses with wood painted in muted seaworthy tones, the grey and blue and tan occassionally broken up by the whitewashed big house. The town itself is a hodge podge of eclectic little shops that radiate from a central roundabout that is perfectly centered by a fountain, and magically surrounded by planters filled with seasonal flowers, the sidewalks are implanted with glass beads and sidewalk reliefs of trees adorn each corner. The people move slowly, as if there is really nothing to do but walk around that circle, and soak in the odds and ends, and then head down to Claire's for a hot cup of Navy Bean Soup or over to Rory's for a cold beer before watching the ferry run its course.

Speaking of running, this has been a good week in Seattle, it is kind of a refreshing break from the Texas mentality, it's good to get back to a more reasonable group of people, who really know what it's like to have rain 60 days in a row, and can still enjoy the majority of those days. Seattle is a great city, and Edmonds is no exception - it is nice to be able to go to an Indian restauraunt and be delighted with real Indian food, not some Indian Fusion menu that has come up with new ways to ruin a curry with a hot pickled pepper mango chutney and a pistachio crumbled tiki masala. Just the basics, Kingfisher Beer, cold water, and a chicken curry at a 4 on a scale of 1 to 6 - not to mention awesome company and a backdrop of bollywood movies.

I ran this evening before heading to the airport for perhaps the worst flight in the world - the oversold Delta 10:30 red eye back to Atlanta - and then the 7 am flight to Jacksonville - I don't know why I schedule those flights, but I do, and trust me, if every flight was not sold out tomorrow, my somewhat spoiled butt would be resting in the Harbor Inn right now, and gladly leaving the red eyes to those folks who really really really felt like flying all night long so they could be good and exhausted when they walked into the office in the morning (isn't that sadistic - I am one of those people, I just brush my teeth, wash my face, and grab a cup of coffee at the airport, and drive straight to the office - I am not quite sure why, but I do). The hill in Edmonds on Main Street works out to be close to a 5% Grade - that's pretty damn steep and over the course of the run, the hill finally stops about two and a half miles at the Jack in the Box and the Edmonds - Woodway high school. The only way that I can ever run that hill is to fill my mind with other things - distractions - tonight's was Norwegian Daisies - these are no different than any other daisy out there, but the Norwegian Daisy looks particularly beautiful against an irridescent backdrop of soft beautiful skin - that image stuck with me up the entire hill - I could not really recall the face or the eyes - it was an enigma, but I knew it was beautiful, and that was enough to make the difference tonight.

The streets in Edmonds were packed with lovers and friends, and the occassional (I suppose) 92%er that was running or walking, or trying to find something that kept them from thinking about swimming to the moon with the ones they love, or just occupying a bit of the day. For me, the run was a way to separate the where and when and to get prepared for a couple of muscle relaxers and a 6 hour flight home. The Shell Creek was packed with finely polished couples, some smiling, some laughing, some looking bashfully at one another - but as I ran by, one couple caught me by surprise, the twenty something girl was looking through her twenty something boy, and that look struck me - even I, as I ran by could see that she was thinking about what if's or what was, or even why? It was obvious to see that, although finely polished and with a handsome beau, that there was something out there that she was looking too...It's funny that anyone who is not so self absorbed can recognize that longing in people's faces - and anyone who has a thimblefull of compassion is struck by that.

So that was Valentine's Day for me 2008 - sure it was filled with the normal stuff, numbers, disagreements, short drives to the park, stairwell discussions - but the best part of the day came in a yellow envelope, signed by me - it was good, simple, to the point, and most of all, true. That's what I guess Valentine's Day is all about, simple truths like longing, running hills, and images of Norwegian Daisies.

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