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Run 38: Sweet, Sweet Pillows

May 18, 2012

Miles: 7

Other Runners: 1

I’ve been running in Fayetteville, Arkansas this week. It’s a really pretty town- a college town full of “diversity,” “liberals,” “hippie-dippies” or “ding-dongs” depending on who you talk to about it. It is also has a lot of hills, which I love, and shade trees and houses with slaves’ quarters and Confederate cemeteries. I don’t know very much about Arkansas and its history, but I will tell you that the local elders of a good friend’s family variously refer to the Civil War as “The War of Northern Aggression” and “The Late Unpleasantness.” That says a lot.

I’m also more tired than I’ve been in a long time, but running has emerged a strange, utterly relaxing respite from research and driving. I ran up, up, up Mount Sequoyah this morning, frankly amazed that my body kept moving despite drenching humidity and a foggy mind. There are lovely (hippy-dippy) homes on the way up and a big neon cross at the very top, and you can see Oklahoma from the lookout. I liked it, and I liked the run down, too. I passed a man walking two fluffy mutts, completely sheltered by the long green trees arched over the road. A mangy grey cat lay beside the tire of an old truck and squinted at me. It was quiet.

The woman I’m staying with has the sort of four year old son who is secretly a one hundred year old man- sweet, perceptive, and wildly articulate. The other day he said to me, “Michele, tonight you can sleep on these sweet, sweet pillows. It will be really nice for you.” Indeed. Two days left in Arkansas, a couple of interviews in St. Louis, and home.

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