The Yeller and the Felon

Ever since The Incident of the College-Era Dress That Traumatizingly No Longer Fits, I've been working out twice a day-- aerobics or weights in the morning, rollerblading or jogging in the evening. The second workout is more for my mental health than anything else. I was out for over an hour last night, sinking into my mix CD, spinning around and around my own personal roller rink: a middle school across the street from my apartment complex with a big beautiful brand new drop-off circle.

I stayed out WAY past what was intelligent or safe, as the streetlamps were well on by the time I headed back into the Bachelorette Pad, but it was so lovely last night, and I watched my silhouette bending out in front of me as the sun went down. The blading is going so much better than when I first started. Ass has not kissed concrete since my second outing and I felt myself taking deep strides, riding it out, speeding along, no engineers to be found. Sometimes I'll rollerblade with Flipper. When Flipper comes over to play we'll skate around my complex, which, to my shock, is much larger than I originally thought. Since I moved in a few months ago I've visited the leasing office, the pool, and my own apartment. Nothing else seems interesting or even palatable. The leasing office, when it's not inhaling 95% of my paycheck or not finding the UPS package from Land's End, sometimes has cookies to offer, emphasis on the "some". I leave the rest to the constantly multiplying, gratingly obnoxious eight-year-olds and their absent parents. I haven't met anybody else living in the complex. I'm never there. I eat there, I sleep there, I hide there; but I'm never "there" in the sense I was there at in Cape Canaveral, where I'd trot either one direction down street for a walk on the beach, or turn the other way and set off for the library, three or four books hugged against me. Last month I was sweeping the steps of my apartment (I swept the steps of my apartment) and I saw the couple who leases the garage below me loading up the pickup truck I always see parked beneath my staircase. (This truck had always intrigued me, as it had a “Cowgirls Rule” sticker on the back next to a Ron Jon’s logo; and here I thought I was the only one harboring conflicting passions.) There was a Western saddle and a couple bridles in the tailgate, and it's been so long since I've seen any tack in person that I almost swept myself right over the railing. Finally I said, "Is that Western tack I see?" and they told me that they stable a couple quarterhorses a mile or so away. These people are now officially my new best friends, whatever their names are. But they are absolutely the only neighbors I've talked to since I moved here, if you exclude the parking lot dog I met who was very soft and huggable and pettable until she started chewing on the tires of my car.

She was far, however, preferable to the guys Flipper and I encountered one night as we bladed past one of the apartment buildings. One was my father's age and, unequivocally, recently paroled; the other leaned over the rail hollering, "Heeeeeyyyyyyy, ladies, when you're done exercising, why don't you come up and have a cold one!" We smiled and waved and rolled away, because they clearly wanted to kill us. Then, as you might expect, we spent the rest of the night arguing over who got the yeller and who got the felon.

October 1, 2003

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