There's a path along the water in Bensonhurst that starts at the parking lot for the Toys R Us and ends somewhere beyond the Verrazzano. It's a far drive let alone a walk, run, or ride. Along the way, lots of children ride scooters and bikes and scream and yell and cry; lots of fishermen fish; lots of adults sit on benches, walk, run, skip, scold children. Eddie and I usually do some walking and then some picture taking and then some standing and then some walking back to the car to go home.
Something must have been in the air. We started out with the walking. We dodged children. We watched two fishermen catch fish at two different times. The first one was kinda cool to watch. The second one was weird because he picked up the small fish in his hand and then stalked off into the grass with it. We blatantly stared at him to see what he was doing. Apparently, he was keeping a plastic bag of fish hidden in the grass. It was weird.
We got to the pedestrian bridge and crossed over the Belt and wandered into the park. We watched some guys playing what seemed to be cricket. Then we crossed back over. Eddie asked, Do you want to jog back?
Eddie can run. He doesn't get tired when he runs. He's not a runner in the sense that he wakes up before sunrise and runs five miles a day. Instead, he can sit around and do nothing for a week and then run ten miles without a hitch.
I, as we all know, am not a runner. I work out like a maniac every day and still I just can't run.
However, for reasons beyond my understanding, I said, Sure.
Then suddenly, I was jogging. I was one of those people who jog up and down the path. I was really out of my element. Immediately, I was winded but was still able to carry on a conversation. I've done enought workout videos to know that if you can carry on a conversation, you're doing fine. So we jogged back past the children on scooters, the fishermen hiding fish in the grass, the kite fliers (yes! I forgot to mention the kite fliers!), and everyone else we'd seen on our way there. Not even midway, I told Eddie, You need to talk to me about something to distract me from what we're doing.
So he started to talk about a couple who was running past us. I interuppted: No, you need to talk about something other than jogging.
I don't remember what he talked about. I might have been oxygen deprived at that point. But we made it all the way back to the parking lot. He stopped immediately and leaned against the railing to watch the water. I? Well, I was walking around in circles like a crazy person. Then I was stretching and breathing. Then I was coughing. I never work out outside, so all the crap in the great outdoors was now in my lungs and my lungs were pretty much telling me: Fuck you for jogging--we don't do jogging.
Meanwhile, Mr. NeverJogs was chillin, checking his text messages, watching the waves, having a party of one as if he hadn't just physically moved a mile using his muscles and joints and stuff. He was asking me if I was okay. Okay? Questionable. But alive? Yes. Suprisingly, yes. It's been a long time since I've thought about my twenty-minute mile days in high school gym class. The euphoria of having survived came rushing back. Ahh, life, how I cherish it even more after running. Okay, jogging. If I had run, the thin line between life and death would be more questionable.