Saturday, July 07, 2007

Everybody's Got a Story

I have this neighbor - he lives on my street, just on the other side of the cross-street three houses down from me. I see him most mornings when I'm on the way to work. He's a small, wiry guy who runs with his dog.

He doesn't jog. He runs. Like hell. He runs, the dog in full turbo-blast mode ahead of him, as if the dog were dragging him along and it's all he can do to keep up. Yesterday he appeared completely unprepared for the exercise, as he was wearing sandals instead of running shoes. He waves when we pass each other, but doesn't speak - I should imagine he's a bit out of breath.

It can't be fun. Why does he do it?

Perhaps his girlfriend is a high-powered lawyer who puts in 80-hour workweeks and doesn't have time to walk her dog. When they started dating, he was a bit intimidated; so to impress her, he told her he loved animals (he actually can't stand them) and volunteered to walk her dog for her. It worked like a charm and he's now moved in, but at what a terrible cost! He must go out twice a day and run breathlessly for miles, tethered to that miserable dog, which appears to be some kind of cheetah mix. He waves to the people he passes just because he can't speak; but what he's really trying to say is "Help me... please... for the love of God, help!"

When he and his girlfriend met he weighed about 300 pounds.

This story can't end well, because, you know, he's already quite skinny. He's only going to get thinner. He has to eat vast quantities of calorie-rich food just to maintain as much weight as he does, but eventually the battle will be lost and he'll dwindle away altogether. Poor guy!

And his girlfriend, having wasted away the life of yet another victim, will sing her siren song over at the nearby state agency and pick out a new one. Oh no! Run away!

Of course I suppose there's an outside possibility that's not really his story. But I've never talked to him, so it'll have to do for now.

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