Last week, I posted a story, Buzz, that paints a picture of drug use. It wasn’t encouraging or cautionary. It offered no opinion. It was simply a snapshot, a vivid scene featuring four intoxicated teens. It went nowhere. Stats-wise, it was my worst performing story in a year. Thirty page-views, two commenters, not so many likes. … Continue reading Buzz, revisited
#3 - List all aliases: I was asked about aliases recently as I filled out paperwork for my FBI background check. In Pennsylvania, if you plan to work with children, you need to prove—up-front—that you don’t have a propensity to molest them. To facilitate this, your employer needs to review your “Rap Sheet.” The first … Continue reading The Other Stuff
Raspberry beret... The kind you find in a second hand store Raspberry beret... And when it was warm she wouldn't wear much more Twenty-five minutes. Almost non-stop. Raspberry Beret--Prince’s 1985 hit. Not the whole song, just the chorus. My mind is supposed to be clear, blank. Meditating. Not matching my gait to a pop song. … Continue reading Prince or Mat Fraser?
I feel like someone has stolen my baby… or at least my cat… or something… something important that I don’t want stolen. Two and a half years ago I published a story on the Runner’s World blogsite, the Loop. This is far less impressive than it sounds. Anyone with an account could post there, and … Continue reading Jenn, Lance & Me
One o’clock in the afternoon. I’m heading home from the office. I’m working part time at a local company. It’s a great set-up for me. It’s right in my town, a mile from home, and the organization’s mission is right up my alley. It’s a domestic violence and sexual assault non-profit. We advocate against... we … Continue reading Going for a run
Two and a half months ago, I started a new job. And then, the pace of my life picked up. Longer hours, more distractions, coming home exhausted, spent. Five weeks ago, my kids went back to school, and my life-pace picked up again. Mornings were shot—the primary focus became getting the kids on the bus. … Continue reading Those things I haven’t done
When I finish my run, I settle in on my back porch. Glass of water at my side. Not tap water, seltzer water made in a handy machine purchased at Walmart. I always include a wedge of lime. It makes my drink seem somehow better, even though I can't really taste the lime. A bag … Continue reading Summer (flash non-fiction)
Sometimes, as the week winds down, you just don’t want to do anything. This is where I was sitting on Friday afternoon, more than an hour before the end of my work day. I was tired of work, tired of my office, ready to enjoy some free time. My work: I write all around this … Continue reading -itis
“Mr. Cann, we expect you to stay off of that trail. You need to give the woods a chance to rehabilitate.” Eighteen months ago, a pair of park service cops arrived at my door. They gave me crap about the wooded-trail starting behind my house. Decades ago, I was a hardcore runner. A serious ten-miler, … Continue reading Newbie, again
The whistle pig whiffed. The groundhog goofed. The woodchuck choked. Punxsutawney Phil botched his forecast. Six more weeks of winter? That was a fail. Saturday, February 20: sunny, breezy, seventy degrees. It looks like we’re going to get a week of this. This is not the winter weather Phil predicted. But I’m not complaining. Typically, … Continue reading Cold Laser
Babywater! Remember that? It’s the phonic rendition of my personal acronym BABWTR. Those who have been reading my blog since the beginning (possibly that’s only my wife, Susan) know all about this. For those of you who weren’t around or can’t remember, I’ve written ten posts about my half-assed attempt to become a Bad Ass … Continue reading Bad Ass?
I’m surrounded by athletes. They’re everywhere I turn. Susan’s massage clients, my friends from the fitness center (which is also where I work), the other volunteers on the committees I’ve joined. They’re triathletes really—runners, swimmers, cyclists. But we’re old, or aging at least, and most of us have dropped a sport or two. I’m a … Continue reading Time Off
Any age ending in “three” is destined to be an afterthought. A year ago I turned fifty-three. Too old for my early-fifties. Too young for my mid-fifties. I entered fifty-three with zero expectations. Just another year of life. A way-station on my journey to fifty-five, or to sixty. When I was in my twenties, I was … Continue reading Endurance, tattoos and pain
Email message from Mark: Jeff, are you planning on joining us this week? My reply: Wednesday nights suck. Eli and I do a drum circle. Or: Overbooked. Wednesday is my writers group. Or: Sorry, parenting responsibilities. Susan’s taking a class. Gotta cook for the kids. Or… Not this week, I have a work thing; Or… nope, early morning on Thursday. Sometimes, … Continue reading Beer Running
The following story was first published on the Good Men Project website. I’m certain this is bad mojo, Dunston isn’t dead. But it’s probably the nicest thing I can offer a person. I don’t communicate well. When people ask my opinion, it comes out combative, abrupt. When I give a compliment, I unintentionally balance some … Continue reading Crest the Hill
I went to bed hungry last night. No, this isn’t about poverty; it’s about running… and childhood… and football. Last night, Friday night, was the first home football game of the season. Not professional, not college—but high school—the Gettysburg Warriors. I went to the game, but under duress. I consider football to be the least … Continue reading The Fluoride Treatment
I’m easily distracted. Eight months ago, I embarked on a journey, a quest if you will, to become a Babywater. Right, I know that sounds stupid. It’s the phonic rendition of an acronym I made up—BABWTR. At the time, I thought it sounded tough and edgy. Reminiscent of Jason Bourne’s Treadstone. No, I don’t see … Continue reading In Search of: Coach!
The Fairyland Loop. A sickly-sweet name for a trail; evoking images of a four-year-old girl skipping down a grassy path in her ballerina outfit. One week into my family vacation, my legs were itching for punishment—my heart and lungs had taken plenty of abuse, but only due to the elevation. Susan, my two kids, and … Continue reading Fairyland FKT
This story appeared in Like the Wind Magazine #8. The artwork is the original artwork that accompanied the piece when it was published. It is used here with the generous approval of Brittany Molineux. Please visit Brittany's website: www.brittanymolineux.com, or connect with her on Twitter: @blmolineux. Saturday, November 8: Susan's Grandmother died today. This was a long … Continue reading On Death and Living and Running
Hmm. Nothing fuels a good rant a like a long, agitated run. I left work early yesterday—I was having trouble focusing. In fact, I was having trouble breathing. I was hovering on the edge of an anxiety attack. The best thing for me to do in this situation is to run away. Fight or flight? … Continue reading Boiled Frog