Gazelle? Cheetah? Centipede?

25 Jul, 2014

by Anja Notanja Sieger

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While I rarely drink, today I’m yearning for a large glass of wine to glug.  Reason? It took fifty-eight minutes of vigorous scrubbing, scratching and horrifyingly dry squeaking to clean my teeth at the dentist.  My gums and psyche are sore.  After perusing the wine list I pick the New Zealand Kim Crawford white for no particular reason other than the fact that I have a crush on the concept of peaceful, sheep populated New Zealand. I take a slight sip and am immediately washed into an instant tipsy state. From this point on, I vow to cease all complaints for the rest of the evening.

“I haTe being barefoot.”

I didn’t say that, nor do I hold the opinion of the man who emphatically stated it. The proclamation peaks my interest however, and I want to know why being barefoot is so detestable. In my mind nothing feels as satisfactory as walking barefoot down a road of thick warm mud, except of course drinking this entirely salubrious grape potion here.

After listening to my neighbor’s conversation some more it becomes clear that they are discussing the topic of running. Barefoot running vs. conventional running.  One of the other men at the table repeatedly advises his fellow runners to “run for one mile as fast as you can.” I chuckle aloud  just thinking about all the people running around without a legitimate reason. Are they being chased by a hungry pickup truck? No, they are not.  Nor are they late for a very important date. They just run and it is hard. I have always wondered what animal runners imagine they are to keep themselves going when the going gets tough. Gazelle? Cheetah? Centipede?

I get up from the couch where I have been cackling to myself and approach the four men who run.  I stand there (with a slight, ever so slight sway) until I have their full attention and then ask what animals they imagine they are when they run and they look at me all confused.* Never have they considered what animal they are. Instead one says, “I just try and think about how painful it is.” The man who says that notices my frightened expression and adds, “But how good I will feel afterward.” Oh, okay. I guess.  He concludes, “I don’t think, I try to clear my mind. I try to be one with the world.”

Honestly, I will never fully get the phenomenon of self-torturous running.  Knowing this I float back to my spot by the fireplace where I have a decent view out the window.  Outside, a woman in black and lime colored athletic garb sprints past. She is thinking of nothing.  I now know this instead of guessing that she imagines she is a steed or a woodchuck on the bound.

*Similar to the confused look I gave my dental hygienist after she asked me where I get my ideas when I write. “Get ideas? Oh no, no, no!  Ideas come constantly. Uninvited. They are not mine.

DSCN6743

Panther? Shrew? Mastodon?

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About the author

Anja Notanja Sieger

Anja is pronounced (ON-JUH) and 'Notanja' (not-ON-JUH). Anja is the person-conduit and Notanja is the spirit writing the letters. Both currently hang out in the Pfister Hotel and would like to meet you. "I am a performing typist who interprets other people's thoughts in the form of “prosettes.” Prosettes (poetry-letter hybrids) are typed for the customer on-the-spot, usually on a typewriter. For me the typewriter offers the pre-computer era tradition of translating ideas into clacking physicality. Customers can choose from the following options: Poetry, Love Letter, Insult Letter, Letter of Recommendation, Short Story, Letter from a Pet, Other. Writing letters requires me to pretend for the duration of the composition that I am the client.”

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