It snowed the whole time. I ran two hours in snow, 20F/ -6C, except for the bridge and many of the concrete sidewalks, which were just ice. I didn’t see any plows going anywhere until after midnight. By then two to three inches had fallen. This snowfall consisted of complex spherical flakes resembling tiny balls. When they hit something, they bounced. Underfoot, they were like tiny pieces of slick plastic. They didn’t stick to my shoes. I could kick through the stuff like it was powder. I wished I had skis.
There are four streetlights in Brownsville. They’re all within a mile. I ticked them off, then headed for a long climb and a mile afterwards down a straight, hilly road to the lonely turnpike for my turn-around. The roads are indistinguishable from the lawns and parking lots. Everything is white. A guy slows down, grinning, hanging out the window. He smiles and hollers ‘Fuck you’ to me a couple of times. The heckler disappointed me. It showed a complete lack of appreciation for running, just lame and amorphous hatred. I had to take his ‘fuck you’ with a sort of sweeping appraisal for me in my environment, which gave me pause to appreciate my milieu . The cold, the ghetto ruins of downtown Brownsville with the words ‘demo’ spray-painted on building that had stood since the 1890s and older. Was he mad at the vagaries of fortune, his own, perhaps? Was his soul a blasted ruin?
Before I could ask him the nature of the affront which had compelled him to express his feelings, he drove away.
I usually get a couple “run Forrest run” shouts a year. Those jokes at least have some relevance. I’m running, Forrest likes running. Therefore, I’m an idiot. I have never gotten four within a year. I count them. I consider it a way to measure the movie’s cultural relevance.
When I go a year and get three, but then the next year only two measly “run Forrest run” shouts, I’ll know that the social relevance of the movie has entered a period of decline. By running everyday, I provide the public with a closed circuit where I and the public have a chance to share a dialogue about the movie, albeit an extremely crude one.
You can’t run away from your problems.
Run, you SOB.
Your crack is wet.
[screaming] Do you like boobs? [exhibits them for appraisal]
I’ve had those things shouted at me, and twelve “Run Forrest run”, consistently three a year. I received those shouts in Georgia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Tonight someone threw me a bone. I got my first “run Forrest run!”
After the highway I ran the ghetto riverside, then crossed the river and ran its twin upon the far banks. No cars, no traffic, no sound, except for the plows kicking in. Wood smoke, coal smoke hung in the air like flattened bed sheets. On crossed the 40 bridge so high over the river, maybe one-hundred fifty feet above me. It sounded exactly like the engines of a passenger jet screaming overhead. I saw a few deer running every direction through the neighborhoods.
Very cold, but warmer tomorrow.
I got twelve miles in.
Janathon monthly miles: 182