Out the door at 9:22pm. Short running shorts. Black socks. Black shoes. Garmin.

It’s nice out. The heat and humidity have been oppressive for several days, so this is a huge relief. What a perfect time to run.

A few minutes into the night and away from a neighborhood full of trees, the sky is in full view. The landscape is full of spirited clouds with a backdrop of vivid yet dulling pastels. A gorgeous blue-gray cast is quickly turning everything to black.

Run from your glutes. Tighten up your core. Lift your knees. Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. Breathe.

A delicious scent from blooms on Texas sage comes rushing into my body. Seconds later, a second round from another flower joins in … orgasm.

The topic of musical orgasms arises. A good friend brought this up on a phone call two nights ago. Similar is this experience, if not identical. Whole body chills in waves: a gentle energy orgasm.

Fluid. Light. Controlled. Five minutes in and it’s clear this will be a great run. Inhale in through the nose every two right-foot strikes to the ground. Exhale out of the mouth evenly. Breathe.

A skunk is nearby. You adorable little fuck. Happy to see you, and also happy to see you running the other direction with your tail straight up, as you do. I wonder what it’s like to be a skunk for a night?

Sidewalk under tree cover. Soil washed out over sidewalk. Darkness. Will it be slippery? Keep feet under the center of gravity to prevent slipping. Seven minutes in would be an unfortunate time to fall.

I’m grateful to be running. Except for this bridge. This bridge sucks. It moves just enough to make running across it annoying, bouncing back up ever so slightly as my feet strike the concrete. Stupid bridge. Thankfully you are short.

Inhale through nose. Exhale through mouth. Lift knees. Activate glutes. Tighten core. Relax body.

The path at the community college is almost empty. A few hours ago in the evening light, this was surely a busy place. It’s hard to distance appropriately at that time.

In the dark, a wonder of what it feels like to be a woman in the same situation takes over my thoughts. Is there fear? Fear of coming across a man like myself? Has a past situation caused this fear? Or is it a general fear caused by society? An unfortunate reality for many women. Let the feeling in.

A brief flashback to a deep psychedelic journey. A woman is twenty feet away and deep into her own experience, sobbing uncontrollably. Deep pain. The emotions are intensely raw, and intuition says the only way to help her is to send pure love her way. I’m in a state of pure bliss having just come out of an intense experience of my own. Tears are streaming down my face. The emotions, too complex to process and tears are the only option.

Run up the hill around the garden. Keep the heart rate low. Oh damn, it’s too high! Walk. Heart rate lowers quickly. Begin running again. Avoid frog on path.

An owl is hooting. I wonder what it would be like to be an owl for a night? What would I see? Why do humans run along this path? And why do they never seem to be searching for food?

Into the land of apartments. People. Oh, how lovely it is to be around people. Distance.

An attempt to make my presence known fails as I quickly come behind a woman. She is on one side of the path and I’m on the other. Huge gasp! She immediately says “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!” A similar response from me as I wave and continue on my way.

Of course there is laughter on my end as well. I find humor in everything. Of course I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at the situation. She was clearly frightened, and that’s not funny. She was also cute. Her ponytail bounced as she walked. Clearly, full of energy, happy. And damn me for the unintentional frightening.

My thoughts of what it would be like to be female on a path at night are brought to the forefront of my mind once again. Hmmm. I can’t help but wonder if these thoughts attracted this event tonight?

Back to focusing on form. Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. Breathe.

The sounds of rushing water. Waterfalls. Couples sitting by the creek in the moonlight. It’s such a peaceful evening. The wish of sharing this run with someone grows stronger. Particularly a woman. Feminine energy is intoxicating.

A feeling sweeps over me. A feeling of missing all of the wonderful people who have joined runs with me in the past. And at the same time there is a feeling of connectedness with all of these people as well. The one-on-one runs are the most missed … those are so incredibly special to me.

Raindrops. The clouds had a little something to give after all. So nice. So peaceful. Hi dude from earlier when entering the college path. You have good energy.

Inhale. Exhale. Relaxed, controlled, fluid movement. Breathe.

Hello again, Mr. Owl. You are still hooting. And now it’s time to pee. A tree is found and a memory from several months ago comes flooding back. A phone call. A wonderful conversation. A break to sit underneath this tree after 10 miles of walking. The weather was much different, the temperature much cooler. Raccoons joined me for a few minutes after coming up from the creek. What a beautiful night that was. What a beautiful night tonight is.

My 45 minutes are done. There is a mile and a half to home and it’s spent walking, attempting to be in the present as much as possible yet reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future as thinking minds tend to do.

So grateful for a run. So grateful for running. So grateful for being sweet to myself and not pounding out a hard run for no good fucking reason. So grateful to be alive.

4.24mi / 45min.