running, the old lady and i
i began attempting to run regularly a couple of months ago. recently i’ve noticed a lot of new additions to the canal scene, popping up in between the regular stroller pushers, joggers, power walkers and bird feeders. this must be the new year’s resolution group, all springy step and matching outfits. even if i quit before they do, at least i started earlier! i cross one woman almost every time i go out. she’s always headed in the opposite direction. at first i thought it was such a coincidence. then i realized she’s probably just running 3x as long as me and i catch her at different points in her marathon training session. in berlin, there are so many running events (2005), even i can pretend i’m training for something. another fun run, perhaps.
running more often means i see the old lady and her dog, out for their daily walk. the same woman who never spoke the first 10 times i said good morning. recently she decided to dig deep inside and respond. this was only to accuse me of leaving the door to the inner courtyard open. she interrogated me as to whether i owned a bicycle. i was polite and suggested it could be the trash collectors. the next time i ran into her, she had reinforcements, a lady friend, the same size. i guess this emboldened her to accuse me again. she added leaving the front door open onto the running list. all of sudden, she pointed her stubby finger at me and dug it into my arm. violation. of. personal. space.
this morning, i walked right on by. as i reached the middle of the next set of stairs, she grumbled: you can’t say good morning? i looked at her like the crazy old lady she is and tried to say morgen without rolling my eyes. after all, that is probably someone’s grandmother. my grandmother lives alone in an apartment building, without a dog. i can be compassionate. even so, the lady needs to keep that finger in check. people with tiny dogs shouldn’t press their luck.