July 1995

I was just about to go to sleep when Rob asked me to go for a run ... on went my t-shirt, my nylon pants and my running shoes. We conducted a slow, careful stretch session in the living room with Lynn in front of the TV. My spine snapped and popped and my hamstrings hurt just a bit as I pressed my palms to the floor, folding at the hip without bending at the knee.

We brought the trash to the end of the driveway, leashed Dana (the Doberman) and ran off along the quiet rural street. Our faces dampened quickly from the heavy mist that fell. The mist was reminiscent of light snow glistening in the lume of the streetlight and head lamps, dancing on the pavement like ghosts.

Teenagers gathered in the parking lot of the town field -- they lurked in the shadows, but belied their shady stature as they pressed out a friendly, lightly awkward "hi" to Rob's warm and relaxed call of "hi."

Our pace was quick from our first steps out of the driveway. My thoughts swept back through the years to our high school days when Rob and I competed in the 1000 yard dash for Belmont High School. Fourteen years later our running, our friendship, endures.

I followed Rob's heels when the cars approached and then returned to the flank after they passed. Dana was not so obedient and required frequent verbal reminders from Rob to "heel" accompanied by firm jerks on the choke collar.

I ran strong -- my lungs did not falter and my legs barely noticed. Rob cast the light of a small flashlight ahead when we ran into the darkness between streetlights. When the hills changed from down to up my enthusiasm rose to the challenge and my pace quickened -- always a sign of Clyde in light spirits. The sweat rolled off my brow and washed away with it the stagnation and pain of my recent days. The tension, the irresolvable conflicts, the tragedies, the pain, fell from my brow -- the weight dropped and my spirit became light.

Outside my window now there is darkness, and the sound of the rain.

Time for sleep.