I wish I was still young. Particularly, I wish that I was young and reckless and when I was restless it didn't matter anyway. A long drive along the coast won't remedy this. All I want to do is get into my car and drive and drive and drive far away and long away and sideways and downways and all ways that will make me burst. There is nothing good here now. There is nothing to see here now. They say move on, move on. It's not a spectacle here, just a memory burned into the back of your head.

No, we can't talk about it now.



The act of running has had many literal and metaphorical implications in my life.

Whenever I got drunk, I liked to take off my shoes and run wildly in the streets. My then-boyfriend got real accustomed to this. At first he would briskly walk after me, turning right down the streets I did and left down the others. Later, he would keep his pace but call me on my cell phone ("Where did you find yourself?") Towards the end of that relationship, he just let me run ("She knows where she's going.") Truth was- I never knew where I was going. Even before drinking was an option, I'd like to run.

Sometime earlier this summer, I found myself driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. And I cried the whole way because I was scared, frustrated, and mad at myself. And I wasn't able to talk my way out of a situation, to manipulate someone's ideas into my own. And this was really scary. I was losing all of the control. No, it was being reaffirmed to me that I never had any control. Hard lessons. When I got there, I was welcomed to an old, dimly lit condo with hardly any furniture. And this angered me more. My mom found me in my car in the garage. "Where are you going?" "I'm going home!" I snapped back. My mom sighed heavy and looked me in the eye, "When are you going to stop running?" I put the car in reverse and got about 5 miles onto Interstate-5. I called her back, a dog with my tail between my legs. "I'm coming back. But not because I want to. There's too much construction on the highway, and I'm tired now."

But even before that summer. Even before I was old enough to make my own brash decisions and pack up my car and move to San Jose, or to move to Phoenix, or to move to Fresno, or to move to San Francisco.

When I was about 5 years old, I experienced the sheer liberation and freedom that running gave me. The house I grew up in had somewhat of a circular layout-- everything was connected, the only barriers being doors to the bedrooms and bathroom. I used to run around the house a lot. Over and over and over, through the living room, past the glass table in the dining room, into the kitchen, through the den, into the hallway, whizzing past the bedrooms and bathroom, back into the living room. One time, my older sister and I were running around the house, and she eventually got bored or tired and stopped, laying down in front of the TV. But I kept running, over and over. As I approached her, full speed, she kicked up her feet and I tripped, flying into the wall by the entry. As a result of the force of impact, I have a scar on the hairline of my forehead. A mark of permanence and a symbol of my liberation. Physical and emotional scars, due from running.

Sometimes things get really hard and I get really emotional and I begin to cry, and then those feelings come up again and they come up real heavy in my chest and get stuck in my throat, and I can't speak, but words-- in that moment--- wouldn't matter anyway. And all I can manage to express is how much, how badly, how necessary it is for me to run. I want to run. That's all I want to do now is just run. And I begin to imagine where it is that I would run: up Divisadero into the Marina, or maybe at Lands End, I could do Golden Gate Park, maybe Ocean Beach.

It's as though my body is saying, "I'm going to speak for her, let's see how far she can run now." My then-boyfriend, I would have to tell him, "When I run, it isn't so that you'll catch me. When I run, let me run." Nobody runs after me today, and nobody is trying to catch me. But I'm in enough pain to know now that the only person I'm running from is myself.

And the irony is, only she will be the one who is able to catch me.


That moment when you realize the majority of what you thought you knew is wrong. Perhaps there's some hope to this, but it's really hard to turn my life over.


and these journeys will begin where those ones end.

Somehow I'm stuck listening to old John Hiatt's 1987 hit "Have A Little Faith in Me". I stare at my bookshelf, where Plath, Carver, and Hammett have silently skimmed the lines of dust, their voices long silenced in my own eluded fantasy. Advertisements for Virgin Airlines muddle my web pages: I long for those black lights to shroud my skin- chh chhhh breaak doo dooo- "Pardon the interruption"- your 1 hour and 10 minute flight will depart reality now and land in insanity later. Or vice versa, I forget which.

They say, "You will meet some like you, and some not like you. Some will be better, and some will be worse. But I promise you now, every one will teach you something different about yourself." Inhale, exhale, follow the rhythm of your breath, and listen to my words  





I've ran out of all the usual excuses,
my doctors- they won't sign off on any more notes.
I always made a present home
and I always kept a past one, too.
But I can't run back to that big comfy bed,
so now where's to run instead?
My problems- they got me by the neck.
My teachers? they got me by the neck.
My bosses? they've all got me by the neck.
so where's to turn now instead?
I could make a place up against this wall,
or my back likes the pressure.
I could close my eyes,
like a vivid dream I could see it all.
If this life were like a dance,
like you could sway and-- or stay, then sway,
and you could creep and stand on the tips of your toes,
and the only rule would be don't step out of the lines.
You can get real close to the edge,
and then where's to run instead?