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No Secrets

June 2, 2010

tags: running

I’ve been running more lately which gives me plenty of time to let my mind wander. Lately it has wandered to this passage from time to time.

An excerpt from Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr.:

In training he was fearless, felt himself too easily capable of violence. He often contemplated what he would do if someone stopped and challenged him. He figured he would put them through a little of what his life was all about first; taunt them into giving chase. He would stay just a little out of their grasp, egg them on and on. Perhaps they would make half a mile or so, depending on how well he could lure them; perhaps their own sense of pride might surface, a by-product of a terrible misconception about what was actually happening. Shorter had once run the legs off an entire gang of hooligans in the hills of New Mexico, despite already being tired from a fifteen-mile run. You would watch for the signs, Cassidy thought, the ones you knew so well; the pain, the bewilderment, the blankness that would eventually come close to despair. He would make it a challenge, so they would forget their original purpose and keep on going just to show this bastard, this… this… (then it would dawn on them) runner.

Then he would simply turn and face them. He would take on anyone like that, he thought. He would take on Muhammad Ali, so long as he could direct the preliminaries.

Cassidy knew very well that he could take men, otherwise strong and brave men, to places they had never been before. Places where life and death overlapped in surreal valleys of muscle gloom and heart despair, where one begins to realize once more that nothing really matters at all and that stopping (death?) is all; where all men finally get the slick skin of civilization off and see that soft pink glow inside that tells you - in both cunnilingus and bullet wounds - that there are no secrets.

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I am a software developer in Los Angeles.