This blog is what happens when I drink too much coffee, hang out with my cats, and have access to a computer. EndangeredSwimmer is primarily an athletic journal about an endangered species: open water swimmers in Mississippi. Occasionally, however, I pen some essays and even a piece of fiction from time to time. And just in case you are wondering, yes, Poot is a real person, and Randy Beets and I really do hate each other.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
The Buddy Bones New Year's Eve Fun Run
Me n Buddy left the house at 2:38 pm
heading out into a clear but cold New Year’s Eve Day. We crossed the Yazoo
River on the Highway 82 bridge, the first leg of a circuitous journey to
Penny’s dad’s where we had an appointment with a steak and a movie. Over the
bridge and down the highway a bit, we turned south headed out into what was
once the Industrial Park. There are still some nice roads out that way but no
industry as far as I can tell. Hey, you know I don’t talk politics and I
thought Ross Perot was a kook, but nobody ever did admit he was right about
that “giant sucking sound heading south.” Maybe it would have happened anyway,
but he said it would happen if . . . and if happened and so did the sucking
sound. I heard it right here in Greenwood, Mississippi.
We walked early because yesterday we
did leg presses and ran 8.08 miles. Like usual, we shuffled and walked our way
to Highway 49 south of Greenwood, but this time instead of continuing our
southward journey, we hopped atop the Pelucua Creek Levee where it crosses 49.
Just recently, we ran Pelucia Creek from the hills west to Humphrey Highway.
Now we were running east from 49 to Humphrey Highway and like last time, we
were in new territory. I had never been here; I’m not sure about Buddy ’cause
he don’t talk much.
A few miles out the levee and we saw
at least seven deer and they played like rabbits in the spring time. I thought
about how pretty they were and how they add beauty and wonder to the earth. We
saw woods. We saw water. We saw fields. It was all lovely.
Deer on the levee
When we made our way to Humphrey Highway,
we were 10.75 miles into our journey. It is eight miles to the same spot coming
a more direct route from town. It was also getting pretty late in the day and
my slow pace was getting slower. Once more, we were going to get caught in the
dark. I debated long about which road to take into the hills. Up the paved hill
feels safer in the dark but adds about two miles to the journey. At my fatigue
level that wasn’t appealing. Up the gravel hill is more direct but takes us
through some spooky woods where I saw a large cougar in April of 2008. I can’t
get that out of my mind and when it gets dark it’s like I feel his eyes on the
back of my neck. We aren’t supposed to have cougars here, and if you report one
you will be treated with the same kind of contempt you get for sighting a
Bigfoot. So I don’t say much about it. I told it to a fellow teacher once, and
he went ballistic on me. Wow!! Like I make stuff up.
Me n Buddy turned onto the gravel
road and headed for the cougar woods. I was not afraid while we shuffled along
in the dark, but I figured I would become so as we closed the distance. What
happened instead was a text from my wife asking me if I wanted her to come get
me. “Darn tootin!” was my reply. She picked us up at 14.46 miles before we got to the spooky part. Crises averted. One crises.
Just before we got to Hillbilly
Heaven, we were forced to stop due to a truck parked dead in the road. Penny
said, “What’s going on here.” Then she saw it, a deer lying in the gravel, and
when the animal moved she burst into tears. I got out and the young woman, whom
we knew, asked me to finish the deer off. All I had was my folding knife that I
carry to protect myself from coyotes. I managed to get Penny’s truck around the
poor creature so she wouldn’t see what came next.
I know three men, lifelong
hunters, who stopped hunting after they had to kill a deer with a knife. I
stopped hunting several years ago, in part, because I just didn’t want to hurt
things anymore. Let me tell you, killing a deer with a knife is not easy,
physically or emotionally. It was not the most unpleasant thing I ever did but
it ranks in the top two.
Then we went to the house and tried
to make merry when all I wanted to do was go alone into the woods and weep.