There’s a run I do around here, often really early in the morning. It’s a 3.5-mile loop out the driveway, through the village, up into the hills, along a ridge, and back down. In mid-winter, since I’m off to the ferry at 6:35, I run this loop in the dark.
Oh, sure, we’ve got bears around here, and there aren’t so many houses up on the ridge. In addition to a healthy reserve of laziness and a tendency toward procrastination, I can add fear. But the other morning I woke and the full moon was still well up, the sky was clear, and it was about thirty degrees above average for the date. I grabbed a small flashlight and lit out.
As I chugged up the long hill toward the ridge, I came upon a couple out for a stroll, and a solo woman walking a little way behind them. We all came abreast at the same time – in the last hours of a full moonlit night, in the middle of the woods, on a country road with no houses in sight.
“This is nice,” I said as I passed through the mini-crowd. “Everyone out getting their exercise.”
“Well, we have to go to work,” said one of the women. We all chuckled in understanding. I continued uphill. A couple of minutes later, as I reached the ridgetop, three guys out for their morning run passed me going the other direction. The moon rode high over the valley to the west, where everyone's lights were, naturally, off.
I’ve been having trouble pegging the vibe – it’s between the Ave Maria nuns at the end of the Fantasia version of “Night on Bald Mountain,” or something zombirific out of Stephen King maybe…or Tom Waits’ nighttime peregrinations in Down By Law. Maybe Dave Attell will be out with a camera crew for my next run, I don’t know. I guess it’s not insane if everyone’s doing it.