Sunday, August 17, 2008

In the shadow of the moonlight

Last night, I grabbed the "running" flashlight and hit the pavement to take a nice run in the moonlight. Our road is the scariest part of the run because there are no lights, but with the moonbeams bouncing off the pavement, I could see just fine. I ran further than I usually do because of how amazing the night felt. The quiet and calm coupled with the nice breeze and the proud glow from above were enough to keep me going. I ran by a cute little house where four older woman were playing cards at a table on the glassed-in porch. They were laughing as they tossed their little red squares into the middle. A tent was pitched on a lawn not far down the street. I could hear teenage girls whispering gossip to each other as I passed by. The sound of their hushed secrets and giggles brought a smile to my face. Voices from a group of friends lingering on a patio where they were enjoying beverages and each other's company carried snippets out into the street as I turned a corner. A month and a half ago, a run such as this would have been impossible. Outside after nine was asking for trouble even if one was surrounded by friends in the Mariscal. I marvel at how the muscle memories our bodies hold take over before your mind can register the environment. My legs didn't think twice about leaving the house after dark at 9:30 p.m. While I don't do it often, I relish in the fact I can go outside without being terrified of what is out there. The lack of bars on houses, guards in the streets, sturdy walls defending casas, and ferocious dogs barking still startle me but my body instinctively dismisses the difference. It knows.

While running through the streets of this small town and witnessing the small interactions of its people, a memory of one summer night a long time ago floated casually into my mind. I could see myself and summer Nick (not married, known my entire life Nick) sitting gingerly in my old Saab on the side of the road across from the beach. The car was parked at the end of a driveway where hundreds of cars were settled in as their owners paraded into what appeared to be a party that would put one of Gatsby's to shame. The two of us sat in the breeze and listened to the enchanting music as the party-goers mingled inside the house. I had no idea whose house it was, only that it was a neighbor of my friend. The sound of the waves dancing with the music filled the car, which enticed us to listen for a long time. As we were leaving, Nick looked at me and asked, "Do you think we'll be like that some day?"

The memory faded when I saw an animal saunter across the street as I crossed to walk down our road. I was thankful the moon was shining so brightly and all I could hear was the sound of crickets singing with frogs.

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