Eaten by wolves with shittypants

Lyon Keating:

“So what time are we getting up tomorrow?” I said to my girlfriend Milly.

“Do we really have to get up tomorrow?  I mean just because we signed up for this race doesn’t mean we have to run it.  We could sleep in.”

“Are you kidding me?  Just because you didn’t train for it doesn’t mean we should flake.  I’ve actually done a couple runs in preparation for this and I’m excited to see what kind of time I can get this year.  Really, it’s the only thing right now that makes me feel better Milly.  I got nothing else really going for me and my minds all up in the clouds.  Pushing myself physically to the extreme is what makes me stop thinking and actually makes me feel good about myself.  I need to express myself physically.”

“Are you sure?  Okay, let’s get up at 5:30 then and maybe you can tell me then if you’d rather not want to go.”

“Speaking of expressing myself physically,” I said as my mouth careened down towards her thighs.

“No hot bod for you tonight sir.”

“I haven’t seen you in a week and before that it was one day and then another week.  I heard twiddle the pea and engulf the sausage is a fun game in these parts.”

“No Lyon, it’s not gonna happen.”

“So I guess we’re just good friends lately who share the same bed once every few weeks or so?  Oh how fun it is to be with you.”

“Well, why would you buy the cow when you get the milk for free?”

“What?  What does that even mean?”

“Does it ever occur to you that our friends and people our age are tying the knot?  I’m the only one in my family who still isn’t married?  How do you think that makes me feel?”

“Well why would I marry you when I don’t get any milk?  Try before you buy seems to be a more reasonable business proposal.”

“Stop being a dick Lyon.”

“I’m not being a dick, actually you’re not touching my dick!  Okay seriously, though, I’m just saying, why would you hold out on your boyfriend in an intimate physical way in the hopes of getting something in return?  What is the message being sent to me in how you deal with me or treat love?  Do you think I seriously want to marry you more now?  Oh Milly doesn’t allow herself to get intimate with Lyon and now I love her so much more!  This honestly sounds like a tactic that the more conservative parts of our government would throw at Iran or China or something.  Withhold love and partnership and that’ll show them and then they’ll accept us.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Nevermind, but seriously think about it Milly?”

“Ummm I am and that’s not the way it works Lyon.  A lady deserve some specific things and you aren’t holding up to your end of the bargain.”

“Shit, so this has all come down to a bargain!?  So loving you and being a great person and boyfriend to you isn’t enough?  You need more specific things eh and I have to adhere to the barter system in order for you to be motivated to touch my penis?  Yes!  Let me jump at the opportunity to do whatever it is you want in order for me to feel acknowledged and rewarded for physical touch.  You talk about needing specific things and somehow it’s ignored that I need specific things?”

“It’s just not adding up Lyon.  You’re not treating me a certain way that people our age and lady’s are suppose to be treated.  God I wish you were just a few years older and then we wouldn’t have to deal with this.”

“So I’m no good now and you’re just waiting for me to mature towards your views or something?  What if I didn’t pop the question until I realized that things were good the way they are currently between us?  Why would I commit to you in the hopes that things would get better and for how you might act towards me in the future once you feel secure?  I’m not going to deal with your insecurities and traditional expectations for how a ‘normal’ relationship should work.  It’s seeming like it’s coming down on me and how I behave compared to how everyone else you know is suppose to behave for how you’ll approach me.  That is fucked and literally from a different universe and makes me feel like I’m being disciplined by my first grade teacher.  Does loving to merely love ever occur to you?  Or trying to do things to each other without want of return sound genuine?  Can we ever really comfortably tell each other what we want and do that for each other?  Making each other feel better whether physically or mentally should be a common invested interest for both of us.  Hell, you don’t even let me touch you and try to give you things without me not wanting anything in return.  You don’t even let me attempt it!  Oh wait, I guess it’ll all be fixed once I give you that all important rock.  Only then will I have access to all the cow’s milk I can get.  Somehow I think I’m a big sucker if I fall for that one.”

I set my alarm in the fear of Milly sabotaging the whole morning ‘not-waking up situation’ and silence overtakes the room and we barely sleep.

It’s a gloomy morning but only because it’s 5:30am when we wake up.  Waking up before 6am automatically makes every morning a gloomy morning.  We make our way out the door by 6:30 for our 7:30 race and sure enough Ethel is creepily sitting out on her stoop taking in the day.  Ethel is an 85 year old women who has a Mitt Romney for President poster up in her window which has, consequently, made me wear my Barack Obama shirt more.  She does not much else with her Philadelphia day then sit on her stoop and watch over the neighborhood much like an out of work sheep dog.  She is always there.  When I leave, come home, check my mail.  It causes me anxiety at times always knowing that there are a set of eyes on me.  It’s like she’s waiting for me to give her brain and eyes something to focus on.  It’s actually quite sad and sometimes I feel bad for thinking ill of her because honestly she has nothing else going on I assume.

“I’m thinking about getting a new job,” she says.”

“What Ethel, what do you mean?”

“You see years ago there were these two faggots…Did you hear me?

“Yes Ethel.”

“There were these two faggots that lived across the street.  One day one of them wanted a white suit.  I said, why do you want a white suit?  Well I guess the one that wanted the white suit was the lady.  So I made him a white suit.”

“Oh okay so you’re going to start making suits for people Ethel.”

“Oh no, those days are gone now.  It’s just those faggots I remember and I have good seamstress skills.”

“Well…err…okay Ethel, I got to run but keep the weather nice eh?”

“Oh yes, you go, you go.”

The women is so weird.  People in Philly love sitting on their stoops and yelling out at each other.  Leave it to the Romney supporter to be belching out a word like ‘faggot.’  Jesus Christ, what is the world coming to or has it always been like this?  Will it change when this generation dies off and more young people come of age or will the South and bigotry and hate towards others win the day again?

Standing at the starting line, me and Milly are rearing to go for the half marathon.

“See you in two hours or so” I say, as I only get a cold stare back in return.  I guess I’m not making her happy by not saving up to buy the cow.  The starting line is crossed and I’m officially off!  The pace is so slow and I’m stuck behind all sorts of people.  I have my ipod ear plugs in and I’m getting in the zone.  Doing these big races is always a trip.  So many people are working hard and running.  There are moments when everyone in front of you seems to be breathing at the same pace and moving by the same clockwork.  You get a sense that you’re just one small part of a bigger picture and staying in the pack is what is right.  Let’s move forward together.  Let’s cheer each other on.  The comradery this creates is enough alone to participate in one of these races.  I almost wanted to stay caught up in this moment but I had to move on.  I’m on a mission and I had to pass all of these people with my small-step, torrid pace.

I told myself that I would push extra hard for this race.  Last year, I ran it in two hours and thirteen minutes and although it was excruciating because it was my first time I still felt like I could have pushed harder.  I mildly trained for this race by going out a few times and running eight to ten miles or so but the one simple thought I was going to have running through my mind was to push constantly.  Push at every moment I felt tired or that I was falling off pace.  This basically meant run as hard as you can for as long as you can and always push.  I wondered if I would be able to do this for thirteen miles and two hours.  I had learned recently in my massage classes while studying the respiratory system that when your body gets fatigued and lungs feel gassed your body is actually not absolutely fatigued and you don’t need to stop.  It is merely your brain being cautious and putting on the gas light.  Just how the gas light doesn’t represent when you have run out of gas the feeling of exhaustion your brain puts your body through doesn’t represent that you should stop either.  The brain wants you to stop because it knows your getting closer to total exhaustion but in fact when this sensation hits, you have about twenty-five percent more lung capacity and energy to go before complete fatigue sets in.  I wanted to dip into this reservoir and keep pushing ever so intensely when my body was telling me I was in this zone.  When ‘complete complete’ fatigue set in I would know it because my body would just stop working right?  Sounded good to me.

Two miles passed so fast.  Wow, did two miles already go by?  I wasn’t keeping track of my pace with a stop-watch but I must be ahead of my nine minute per mile pace I was shooting for.  I was determined to get less than two hours this year.  Mile three and four passed so easily and I was passing people all over the place.  There was only one guy within the first four miles that passed me and I was feeling good.  Mile five came and it was my first wall.  PUSH I told myself and I did but my feet were starting to hurt and this incredible feeling to shit suddenly came upon me.  I had made fun of Milly before the race because she had taken three shits in what she called pre-race anxiety.  I don’t know if people really get this or not but think it’s hilarious if they do.  I certainly don’t but, alas, mine was an inter-race shit, which was way worse.  I had to decide to either tough it out or run over in the bushes somewhere and let out what felt like explosive diarrhea.  Was I really going to do this?  Of course not.  I didn’t have any toilet paper and I couldn’t sacrifice on my time.  Wiping with my hand just didn’t seem appealing.  There was only one course of action to take, and that was to try and squeeze out the little pressurized farts that were causing me so much discomfort without shitting my pants.  If I shat my pants then I guess it would only make this experience that much more dramatic and legendary.

It was a successful move to squeeze those little farts out, however, I felt bad for the people behind me.  I tried to run in a sort of inconspicuous zig-zag so I wouldn’t just crop dust one or two people but try and spread it out among the whole group.  The collective approach ya know?  My liberal views were coming out in full steam (or gas).  I started to feel a bit better and when the halfway point of mile 6.55 came I got a sudden surge of adrenaline.  Only one more half of these to go!  This amazingly lasted all the way to about mile ten.  I was about 10 minutes ahead of pace and was for the most part enjoying myself.

Mile eleven is when shit hit the fan.  No I didn’t shit my pants yet but it was getting closer.  The feeling that started out at mile five turned into the feeling at every two miles and then by mile ten it was the shitty feeling at every half-mile.  The stomach pains were really getting to me and I was getting worried that it might get to be a little too much.  My push-push-push at every possible moment came to a screeching halt at mile eleven as well.  I had averaged about an eight-minute mile up to this point and that was with pushing at every possible moment.  I was being successful at not leaving anything in the tank but the push strategy at mile eleven was simply not working.  I couldn’t move my legs faster anymore.  People were passing me all over the place when in the first eleven miles maybe three people had passed me.  I would go to move my legs but they wouldn’t move any faster.  Was this my body telling me that I had actually reached complete exhaustion?  I could feel the lactic pilling high in my body as things were refusing to move.  I remember thinking that if a pack of wolves were released I would get caught and eaten no problem.  They would find a dead man in the forest who had shat his pants.  There was no way I could run from anything at this moment or really run in any way other than a jarbled jog.  The tank was definitely emptying and my experiment had worked!  It was a good feeling but I had two more miles to go and a horrible stomach problem that was getting worse as I couldn’t relieve it by distractingly running faster anymore.

The eleventh and twelfth miles never seemed to end.  I had a feeling I was going to beat my time but I wanted to crush my old time.  My feet were hurting, my knees, my butt from playing aggressive tennis earlier in the week, and I felt like at any moment shit was just going to deposit into my underwear and down my leg.  I had to finish!  I entered the stadium where the race was coming to a close.  I tried to sprint the last couple hundred yards or so but my body just instead chose to do a sort of wobble, umpa lumpa dance where my feet didn’t actually move any faster and my upper body sort of tumbled over.  I crossed the finish line and my time was one hour and fifty minutes.  My last two miles were about ten minutes long each but, not to worry, I had still crushed my old time of two hours and thirteen minutes and gotten under two hours.  Screw running.

The camera crew that took pictures of all the participants that finished the race took one of me.  I will always remember that picture as the one where I was almost hallucinating from exhaustion and had to take the most aggressive shit of my life.  I could hardly walk as my body was so sore and full of lactic acid.  I limped to the bathroom, waited ten minutes in line to use it and then spent about twenty minutes on the pot having about five separate bowl movements.  It was the most satisfying feeling of my life that I didn’t have to hold it for two hours anymore where I was running as hard as I could.

I went back and waited for Milly to finish.  She strolled across about an hour later and we both were sore beyond sore.  We couldn’t walk and felt like we were about 90 years old.  Maybe we would actually start bringing up stories about faggots we used to sew suits for and vote Republican.

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