To the Internets,

I like to run. I will be posting about training, the races, the friendships and stories that inspire me to run. I am interested in running like a fool, like when I was a young boy, barefoot, growing up in Georgia. Times were simple then. There wasn’t a lot of bullshit. Flash forward thirty years. Yep, lots of complex problems. I don’t have enough brains to fix the world. To compensate, I have begun to teach myself about happiness.

I like to run because it makes me happy. If you saw me finish a marathon you would notice I seemed close to collapse, dazed, with a rime of salt on my face. Happiness would seem elusive if it were designed to conform to simple ideas of phenomenal pleasure, but, verily, happiness goes much deeper than flesh, deeper than slaked desire, much deeper than the namaste of our different lives. Happiness is a perception of harmony within the world. It comes with a sense of “tapping into something larger”. People are made up of cells. I think we are trying to experience at a cellular level. The greater the understanding, the more profound the joy. Ultimately, nothing in the world is required to “make one happy”. You just choose to become happy because it is easy. It is difficult to be sad and stupid. And all their lives people are looking for that ephemeral carrot, that next rung of the career ladder, that raise, that super car to carry them to Happy Land. And when they get there, they’re sad. We call that being spoiled, or being ungrateful. We become inured to our own capacity to accept the bullshit. Everything is pure bullshit. Set yourself free. Bullshit is free, so should ye be.

I tried throwing everything away, selling my things, squandering opportunities that my privileged affluent youth afforded me. I grew to reject my circumstances, to wallow in suffering, thinking I could, like Peter the Great, emerge from my Western gutters and head home, richer for my boheme detour. I thought I could slip in and out of sorrowful poverty like a satin smoking jacket, stinky, but slinky. Wrong. Call 1-800-POVERTY. Let it ring for 20 years. No one answers to poverty because poverty has no voice. It has no strength, no will, no capricious designs nor scandalous foibles to worry about. It has thirst, which is mute. It has hunger, and it has death. These hard facts are not articles of clothing.

At some point, I realized I had gone too far, and my little Poverty Odyssey wasn’t going back home. The Argos was dashed to bits. Penelope left me for a carrot farmer. My dog left me for someone who cared…and I realized it was time to realize I’d made orphans of my loves, had let Big Ideas take my young and foolish heart and smash it against the rocks of foreign shores. But not just countries. There’s a country in every heart. I became addicted to idiomancy, of dredging up the peculiarities of people’s inner world because it was easier to remember people for their differences. Peculiar it is that we are difference engines seeking harmony.

When I get an hour to run, I leave as much in those sneakers as I can – the blood, sweat and tears that  give me moments of clarity.  This world is tiny and loud. Run it. Every time I run, I run the world. Raises and ice cream for everyone.

I just received a phone call from a business about a job. The guy on the phone said I am over-qualified. I was not hired. I negotiated for a pay cut, and I just wanted honest work. He turned me down because he said I was white-collar. I am fighting a world of bullshit one day at a time.