I had so much trouble figuring out what I wanted to say. I sat at my kitchen table for most of the morning, working it out. I got stuck. I took a break and went on a run.
I’m into the idea of long-distance tributes and putting positive energy into the universe, without expecting that positive energy to replace direct action. (I hope to identify a direct action soon. Probably this.) So it felt good to run – I hadn’t in a while. It felt good to run and think about those marathon runners and their supporters, people focused on positive energy and community, and to hope that those who are injured heal well, and that those who have lost loved ones do, also.
But mostly, I just wanted to run, clear my head. What I hadn’t anticipated were the smiles and waves from other runners in the park. Maybe runners are just friendlier in Prospect Park than in Manhattan. But I choose to believe we were engaging in an unspoken openness.
And then I saw this guy. He was the sort of stout guy-runner who maybe wouldn’t even look like a runner in say, a suit, but whose killer, chiseled calves give him away. You know the guy. He had a techie running belt and a dry-wick hat. Headphones and mp3 player. He wasn’t running at the time, though. He was standing at the intersection of two gently sloping paths in the middle of this green bowl of a field named, almost darkly, the Nethermead. And he was breaking it down to whatever he had in his headphones. I mean, this guy had moves. Hip shakes and little stutter steps and attitude. And he wasn’t looking around, didn’t seem to care if anyone was witnessing this spectacle. And really, there was hardly anyone around.
And, seriously folks, this guy looked exactly like Patton Oswalt.
Who I think has, thus far, done the best job of talking about all this.
Look it in the eye. Be Patton in the Nethermead.