“Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes.” Robert M. Hutchins
A running man? … Who?
When I damaged my medial ligament I discovered a new source of pain. The healing was slow, hurting like a toothache-of-the-knee any time it had a spot of exercise.
The day of my sprint arrived in the big Ferrytoll Park-and-Ride at the north of the Forth Bridge, near Edinburgh. I spotted the express bus to Edinburgh coming in close behind me with an adrenalin surge. My juices flowed.
For the first time ever, I found a parking space within fifty yards of the terminal. With it came the opportunity to catch the transport and get back on schedule. Only one hassle, walking wasn’t an option. …
The Accelerative Man
What happened? A hardwired response.
Without thought, I accelerated to a moderate, slightly lopsided lumber. The driver couldn’t see me for the terminal building.
People, even older than me, rushed from a drop-off space—blockers—hastening to maximum crawl at about a quarter of my velocity. The bus’s rear stuck out past the building, a lumpen mechanical pointer to the finish-line.
A gap appeared in the surging, breathless, herd of humanity. I hurtled through and made the corner of the wall in time to see the doors close. And then …
I found another gear and accelerated! Lopsided no more. Moving close to the side of the bus I gazed at the driver via his mirror … OH NO! an obstruction …
Tip-toe Through the Ancients
An ancient woman, almost level with the front, gave up red-faced and puffing. I slalomed round her then, dashed mirror-wards once more. I caught the driver’s eye, no leader of a staggering charge. He lowered his head, rolled his eyes … and let me on.
Another five or six ageing sprinters, including the red-faced ancient, and all the blockers, marshalled themselves behind me. The man at the wheel didn’t return my smile and cheerful greeting. Schedules are what they are, I suppose.
I found a seat. And what pops into my head? Dignity!
How dignified did you look … running for the bus?
My inner voice sounded like HAL in 2001 a Space Odyssey, but I did do it.
Nobody pointed. The people behind me were relieved to see the door open and get on. No one muttered “fool”. Did a couple really nod appreciation to me for getting the door opened? Yes.
A Falling Tree
Bottom line? Nobody thought about my dignity but me. When it came to running for the bus even I forgot about it!
Who said: “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is there a sound?” (such profundity).
If a (nearly) old fart runs for a bus and nobody laughs and points, is there any indignity?
… Silly boy!
© Mac Logan