There aren’t a lot of running trails for me to get to without a car. The closest one is about three miles away from my apartment and unless I’m training for a marathon, it’s out of the way. I have to stick to running on sidewalks, something I don’t enjoy. It’s a constant run and stop. Each corner I have to look left, right, left again, and raise my hand up to thank the incoming traffic for waiting. Even if it’s a red light, I thank them for listening to the rules of the road.
It was around fall time when I found it. There’s a spot right next to the University of Pittsburgh where cars couldn’t get to. It’s a secret garden minus the garden. There is stairs leading down to it. If you look straight ahead, it seems like the field is swallowing you. Once I put my headphones on, I forget I’m in the city. Today, it’s just me inside this mouth.
The snow is seeping into my shoes making my socks wet. I don’t mind because I have this field all to myself. The only footprints in the snow are mine. Well, that’s not’s true. Some kind of rodent has left their mark in the snow. Rabbits? Squirrels? A deformed hobbit? Whatever made the footprints knew I was coming. I follow the markings, but it disappeared right in the middle of the field. Maybe it was some sort of flying rat.
The cold air is like my personal water bottle. If I need a drink, I just take a deep breath. It’s good for days when I’m doing sprints, especially in the snow. I try to step in the same footsteps that I made. I don’t want to ruin the whole field. It was more appealing before I came here.
My iPod just died.
I hear the traffic. The cars are coming to get me. It’s time to leave.