Running in the Dark.

You know those people you see puffing alongside the road late, late at night? The ones who make you think, “geez, don’t you have a couch you should be sitting on right now? Go to bed!” Yeah. I officially became one of those crazies last night.

I didn’t have much choice. It’s been approximately 210 degrees here  for what seems like the last 5,000 years (but has really only been a couple weeks). And when it’s 50 bajillion degrees outside, the only time it’s safe to venture forth farther than your front porch is after the sun goes down.

So out I went at 9:30 last night.

To those of you thinking to yourselves, “So what? Ain’t no big thang, sister chick,” I’d like to remind you of two things:

First, I am a royal klutz. I am perfectly completely capable of causing lasting damage to myself while walking slowly in a straight line down a perfectly smooth hallway with the noonday sun shining in. And at 9:30 at night? The way is far less clear than that.

Secondly, I am somewhat afraid of the dark. No, really. Blame it on an overly active imagination. Or on my tendency to read vampire novels (not a good idea when paired with an overactive imagination). Or on some childhood trauma too firmly buried in my subconscious to remember. But when the sun goes down, my bravery goes right along with it.

Which means that my heart was pounding before I even broke into a jog.

In fact, I spent the first few minutes silently chanting things like,”trip on a crack, break your own sweet back.” But then I got into a groove and started running to the beat of the music on my iPod. Until, that is, I scuffed my toe and almost went tumbling head over heels.

I turned the music off after that. And things  got really spooky.

The grass rustling in the field next to me became a pack of coyotes stalking me.

The cute little bunny scurrying back into its den in front of me became a rabid rodent about to bite me.

The headlights on a passing car illuminated glowing eyes and flashes of white…was that a vampire?

And then I heard it. Heavy footsteps pounding behind me. A man’s breath erupting noisily into the night air. A Murder Man. And he was Right Behind Me!

Quickly, I tightened my headphone cord around my wrists, thinking I could maybe choke him if I had to.  I wondered if I could knee someone hard enough to hurt without popping my knee out of joint. I wished I had listened to my husband and brought my phone…

And the man passed me, giving me a brief wave as he did.

“HI!” I said, brightly hysterically. And then I began to laugh quietly to myself, and, in fact, was in danger of losing it completely…until I tripped again.

I walked the rest of the way home.

I think I need a treadmill. One that I can run on from the safe, brightly-lit confines of my living room. Anyone want to donate to the Keep Amber Sane, Skinny and Scar-Free fund?

No? Well, you can’t blame a girl for trying.

12 Comments on Running in the Dark.

  1. Elona
    August 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm (5 years ago)

    Those freaking Murder Men are always chasing me. Especially in Meijers late at night. They really like to hang out in the parking lot…I’m just sayin’.

    I have to hand it to you for running in this swampy weather. I barely want to walk in it!

    • Amber
      August 13, 2010 at 8:53 am (5 years ago)

      Meijer’s is a favorite hang out of murder men, I’m told. As is Walmart. And the bus stop at the CVS by us…

      Those murder men, they’re everywhere. :-)

  2. Wendy
    August 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm (5 years ago)

    And that, my friend, is why I set my alarm to wake up and run in the early morning. Temps aren’t quite in the blast furnace range yet, and nature is much more friendly when you can see it. And you can see Murder Men before they’re breathing down your neck.

    • Amber
      August 13, 2010 at 8:52 am (5 years ago)

      I’ve tried the early morning trick. But I’m more willing to face murder men than the pre-dawn sidewalk. I heart my pillow.

  3. Alexandra
    August 13, 2010 at 1:06 am (5 years ago)

    Oh, Amber: you know how sometimes, time passes and you forget how funny a person is?

    You are so very, very funny. When the sun goes down, so does your courage…I’m right there with you. Murder men, overactive imagination, and wild pack of coyotes.

    You are so funny.

    • Amber
      August 13, 2010 at 8:51 am (5 years ago)

      You never know when those coyotes are going to get you…after all, why go after a 5 pound rabit when they can have a one hundred (couch cough) pound woman for lunch?


  4. SaucyB
    August 13, 2010 at 7:22 am (5 years ago)

    Oh that’s too funny. If it’s any consolation, I’m kind of afraid of the dark too. When my husband is away, I keep the house lit up like a Xmas tree at night and when I have to turn everything off when i go up to bed I hit the lights and bolt into my bedroom and close the door. how mature. lol

    • Amber
      August 13, 2010 at 8:50 am (5 years ago)

      I do the same thing…although I always leave the hall light on. Just in case, you know?

  5. Liza
    August 13, 2010 at 9:25 am (5 years ago)

    LOL! Well, I can totally relate…on multiple levels of your post. My last dark encouter included a middle-of-the-night walk from our bed to my 1-year old’s room. I managed to kick the heck our of one of our door stops (happens to be a 5lb rock) and break my middle toe. Good times.


    PS: I think a treadmill sounds like a fine idea. :)

    • Amber
      August 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm (5 years ago)

      My toe winces in sympathy! I’ll bet everyone woke up at that point, huh?

  6. dusty earth mother
    August 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm (5 years ago)

    Poor baby! I totally understand your fear even though I do not read vampire novels. And I also heart my pillow but still force my screaming body to get up and run early when it’s that hot out. But that’s because I’m psycho. Save up for the treadmill.

    • Amber
      August 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm (5 years ago)

      The fund has been started. As has Craigslist ad scanning…and at least fall’s coming. This heat has to break sooner or later.


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