The blistery stripe on Gamma’s forehead, the doctor said, and the blistery spot on her cheek looked like something she called “Kontaktdermatitis”. She prescribed antihistamines. Gamma had come into contact with a blade of grass whilst playing in the woods near the river. It’s also important to know she inherited her hayfever from her father, who is me.
For various reasons I decided to go for a run Sunday morning. I ran from our house to the river, about half an hour, 45 minutes. The chest pains weren’t so bad so instead of running home I turned left and ran upstream, intending to return home in a big circle, big giant circle, instead of boringly retracing my steps. Running up the river got boring too, though, plus it was a lot farther than I expected, so for a change I took a left on the next trail I found heading into the forest and quickly got thoroughly lost.
This is no problem in that particular forest, because, I figured, it’s not like the region is unsettled. Go far enough in any direction and you eventually come to something manmade, like a road or a town, or you come to the river and that takes you back to civilization.
I followed a road that turned into a path that turned into a trail that turned into a bunch of bushes. Then I scared what I figure was a deer because it ran off into the woods a lot faster than I hope the wild boar that live in the woods can run. Then I came to some water. Then I found a couple deer trails and followed them for a while, because deer are always going someplace, you know deer. Always a destination in mind. Except these particular deer seemed to take a perverse delight in constructing dead-end deertrails leading to bodies of water, which turned out to abound in those woods, or solid walls of summer-green vegetation.
I was jogging along all the time, crashing through brush and grass and leafy shit. My tight, clingy running pants were all green in the front, green with these velcro-type vines that were sticking to me and slowing me down. Wild hops grow in the area, and it quickly became obvious that the first clotheslines must have been based on ideas some caveman got running through woods like that and all of a sudden boing, you know?
My clingy pants, besides interlocking perfectly with the velcro-type vines, only went halfway down my shins, leaving an exposed area that was beginning to blister. As was the rest of my body, the front half, because these functional running clothes I was wearing wicked the perspiration from my skin professionally, but provided little protection from whatever I was allergic to in the bushes there.
In the deepest part of the forest, the forest’s rectum if the forest were a giant whale, tangled up in vines, ducking under a dead tree, I told myself, Pay attention. Pay good and close attention right now. It’s not every day you find yourself stuck inside a metaphor like this.
I got untangled and kept running along a path that turned into no path, and that eventually intersected with my road, and I followed that and two hours after I had left found myself back home, uneventfully except for not getting eaten by a big furry German shepherd a lady was walking without a leash, etc etc.
Thanks to Gamma I had the antihistamines and the antihistamine skin cream and that helped a lot, but my crankiness knows no bounds today. Plus, boy are my legs sore.