Running on Empty
Lactic acid is an evil thing that bit down hard after the Flying Pig Marathon leaving scores of runners crawling out of bed on Monday morning. Even though I had only run a few miles chasing and supporting, I was feeling a little low on petro going into this week. It was time to call in the comfort measures.
One of the beautiful things about the wisdom that comes with growing older is that you begin to know what you need and want. Of course, not always is it in harmony with what is good for you, but it is easier that it used to be to discern a want from a need. I needed lots of water, sleep and walking to ease the pain in my legs and I wanted comfort in the form of food, activity and company.
Lying on a chaise lounge in the warm glow of the sun sounded like the ticket. Since I did not have a ticket for Mexico's beaches, I chose Mexican food instead. I grabbed my friend Jan and we headed to Northland Boulevard to Taqueria Azteca where the food is authentic and the prices cheap. We both gorged ourselves on chips and salsa as the barn work had left us famished while we waited for the enchiladas and tamales to appear. The atmosphere was relaxed and as my hunger subsided under loads of sour cream and guacamole, I forgot I was sore at all.
Jan opted out of my movie suggestion by claiming she was too tired to read subtitles, but that was OK by me because I love to watch movies in a dark theater with or without company. I headed down to Clifton to the Esquire Theater to see the critically acclaimed Y Tu Mama Tambien. This Mexican film was given a four-star rating from the East coast to the West coast and I for one was determined to catch it before it left Cincinnati, subtitles and all.
The film opens with two young adults having sex that caught my attention straight away as I fumbled with my hot tamales. I guess the candy and the movie would be hot tonight. What a pleasant surprise as I often complain that movies these days are tamer than the MTV videos the kids get to watch.
I had to concentrate to keep up with the subtitles since my body was somewhat compromised but the subject matter of youthful angst and the carpe diem theme carried me into the film easily. As the story unfolds, I realized this is a movie that goes beyond the seduction factor to speak to how we embrace life and capture moments in time.
My favorite films, music, books and places speak to me in this way and, particularly when I feel like I am running on empty, it is refreshing to see there is another way to be. I leave the theater and opt for Sitwell's instead of Graeter's as my stomach couldn't possibly hold mocha chip after hot tamales.
Sitwell's is a source of respite on any day as it reminds me of a different place and a different time. The clientele is refreshingly non-conformist, the mood relaxed and the coffee choices are endless. Yes, this is perfect.
As I drive home, my mind is lulled with Enigma and I think how I might spend tomorrow digging in the dirt and playing gardener for a day. I think I will don a bikini top, old shorts, my grass-stained shoes and feel the sun on my back. I will even wave to the old man who comes outside to peek at my progress, or is it my top?
As it turns out, it rains almost all week, but I still nurture my spirit with all the little tricks I know like buying flowers to plant later, sneaking a magazine read-in over a solo lunch and snuggling with a late night friend.
With summer approaching, I vow to take better care of the inside of me with plenty of what I need and want. I'll start with finding the time to languish with the people and places that feed my soul.
-- Wendy Robinson
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