Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meryl Streep's Taxi

It was late but still light out in that way that dreams have of being two things at once. The air was warm when we came out into the evening. It was beautiful out, the kind of high summer evening when dusk lingers.

We were on 10th Ave, somewhere in lower Manhattan. My cousin Eduardo hailed a cab and I got in first. Even before my other two cousins Andrés and Maria Luisa got in, I'd already gotten into an argument with the cabbie. He did not want to go to Brooklyn and was letting me know it very clearly. I got out. We could have made him take us anyway - it's the law! - but it was better to wait for another cab than have to spend time with such an angry person.

Kind of like this but without the suitcases.
As if to prove that good things come to those who don't put up with bad behavior, another cab came driving by in the other direction. It was neither a yellow cab nor a liveried car. It was a happy off-white with a black line. It had a taxi sign and it slowed to a stop when I hailed it. Crossed the street running before the driver could change her mind. My cousins were following close behind me.

When I got there I couldn't tell her where we were going. I just stared. "Well. Are you getting in?" Meryl Streep asked me, punctuated with one amused and perfectly arched eyebrow. I didn't even answer. I just ran to other side and got in with my cousins.

Meryl looked good behind the wheel.
She was wearing a white blouse and glasses. Her hair was loosely tied back. She looked like she was enjoying a private joke pulling a prank on strangers. I was too shy to sit in the front. Maria Luisa, who was last, ended up there but she was exhausted. She just followed us in and passed out as soon as she sat down without a glance towards our driver.

Meryl was charming and hilarious as she drove us. I thought of my co-worker K. who would be so jealous when he heard. We were all chatting nonsense like old friends by the time we hit the Brooklyn Bridge. When we got to my place it seemed only natural to invite her in. My apartment had a few more rooms than it does most days, which made sense with so many cousins visiting.

We were serving tea and teasing Maria Luisa because of her reaction when she woke up and realized Meryl was sitting there with us when I woke up.

Dreams can haunt us. Dreams can soothe us. I usually go home to Barranquilla in late winter. It helps me cope with winter darkness by giving me an extra strength dose ecuatorial sun and family warmth.

This winter I was not able to go home which has given me uncharacteristic spells of homesickness. It's nice to know I can still see some of my family in my dreams, along with Meryl Streep.

Cabbies can be mean. Life in New York City can sometimes be harsh but you never know when something wonderful comes along. Maybe even hail Meryl Streep in a cab.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting Crafty

Blame it on Pinterest, but I've been getting crafty lately. It's been fun and I've been wanting to write about it. Yes. On my running blog.

Since I'm not getting crafty with running outfits - though that has happened before* - I'm planning on making some changes here.

I miss blogging. I miss writing. There are times when I want to ramble on blog about topics that don't fit within the structure of this blog.

Those of you who want to read whatever random post I decide to write won't need to do anything. It will all end up here. Those who only want to read about running, you'll have go here instead.

*I ran the 2010 NYC Marathon in my own PPTC homemade skirt, barely pictured above.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Summer Inside

Chilly and windy was what the forecast said.  NYRR even said they'd post an update at 5:30am about whether the race would take place. Damaging winds with gusts of up to 45mph were predicted.

Fleece lined crochet hat. Not intended for running.
That wasn't the case and the race took place as planned. Fearing the windchill I'd piled on the layers. By the time I got to the park I was toasty. I figured I'd keep on a few for the race: two pairs of thermal running tights, two long sleeve tops, one singlet, a head band and a fleece lined crochet hat, plus neck gaiter and gloves, of course.

Out of shape and unprepared was how I got to the starting the line.  I hadn't run since the previous Sunday when I'd participated in a relay and before then my running has been in fits and starts.

I wanted to get to the finish line. I started with Lindsay and stared hard at her ass as she took off. Maybe if I stared hard enough I'd be able to keep up with her. About a mile and half in we parted ways.

It was nice to get the hill done at the start. The wind wasn't so bad. By mile two I was starting to warm up. Then I hit that happy stretch of downhill that leads to the lake. By then I was wondering if I'd overdone it with the layers. I was getting really warm. I was sweating.

On that stretch of road, the sun was out high enough to clear the trees and hit me right in the face. It was bright. I lowered my eyelids and the race changed. I closed them just enough so all I could see was a few feet a head of me through my eyelashes. I couldn't see the bystanders in their thick winter jackets or the runners with their long layers.

But I could feel the sun in my face. And by then I was so hot I could pretend it was the heat from the sun I was feeling. Wear enough layers and move a little and you can make it so it feels like it's summer inside.

If I keep it up long enough it will be summer outside too.

For now, I'll have to take it one run at a time and hope for the best for the NYC Half. Unprepared seems to be the name of the game these days. It might not be pretty, but as long as I keep moving in the right direction I'll eventually make it. Wish me luck with that one.

Today, being so rested from lack of running paid off. A PPTC teammate caught up with me in the last quarter mile. I was just hoping to hold steady. She yelled at me as she passed me and egged me on to follow her. She kept checking in with me and I grunted back. Final results are still pending but I'm pretty sure I owe her a PR.

Thank you for the encouragement. Sometimes that's all I need. Isn't that all anyone needs?