I think of vignettes as line segments approximating a curve. The curve is your life. The line segments are the stories. They start off of the curve, come in and just barely kiss it, and then veer away from it again. One segment doesn't approximate a curve very well, but if you get a couple of them, you get a good idea of what the life is like.
"The loop starts here, right?" I asked the man who has run with this group for 30 years.
"No." He pointed to a spot 30 feet away. "The loop starts there."
I am running in a park. "Excuse me," a teenage boy says, so I stop. He mutters something breathily, in a thick English accent. "What?" I ask. He breathily mutters the same thing again. I still have no idea what he's saying, but now I know it's something lewd. I start running again. "Sorry, I don't speak British," I shout back over my shoulder.
I passed the same old man twice, on the way out and on the way back. Each time, he stood well off the path, motioning for me to go by. As soon as I was past, he made loud farting sounds with his mouth.
I ran past a man who was feeding the ducks. "Well done!" he shouted, "Well done this morning! That's why we're the best!"
"USA! USA!" I shouted back, and pumped my fist in the air. Just so we're clear on who, exactly, my running is making the best.
I am running along the canal, and a woman in a rowing single is going the same speed, just ahead of me. We travel together for a few minutes at the same speed, until I turn off of the path into the woods. And I wonder, if I had a friend who rowed, could we exercise together like this, her on the water and me on the path, chatting back and forth?
Cast Iron Pan
3 days ago