Athletics Magazine

The Man Behind Me In Line

By Brisdon @shutuprun

I love people. I really do. I know it would surprise you to learn that I am an extrovert. I get my energy from people, baby! 

But, some days I feel like I have a sign on my head that says, Hello all strangers! Talk to me. Tell me about your hemorrhoids or your Aunt Edna who has herpes. Talk to me and do not let me get a word in edge wise. Talk to me and speak only of yourself.”

The Man Behind Me In Line

Does this happen to you too?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy human interactions and meeting new people. But, occasionally there will be these very random exchanges that make me go, “Huh? Am I even part of this conversation?”

This weekend I was at Barnes and Noble. I was innocently in line waiting to buy “Chi Running.” I almost bought “50 Shades of Grey.” I had it in my hand, thinking I wanted to buy it, imagining that my local library might be too prude to have it. But, in the end, I put it back. 

If you don’t know, “50 Shades of Grey” is a very erotic novel that is selling like gluten free muffins at a celiac convention. Have you read it yet? Are you running out to buy it right now? (BTW, hilarious skit on SNL this week referring to the book).

Anyway, so here I stand, my “Chi Running” book in hand, waiting in line to make my purchase.

Man Behind Me In Line: Oh, hey, so I see you are reading CHAI running.

Me (thinking, does he think this book is about spicy tea?): Yeah, I’d like to learn more about it…

MBMIL: Well, I’m getting this book on running in Colorado. I live in a very small town. I am the town runner. I work at a prison. I run everywhere. I love to run. I want to run  in Boulder. I am fifty years old. Have you heard of that Bolder Boulder race? I like races. I want to run a race. In Colorado. In Boulder and it’s supposed to be a good race.

Me: Yes, that’s a fun one. Really big race, it’s…

MBMIL: Well, I was going to do a marathon, you know. I was training. I’m fifty years old. I was training then the ex-wife got cancer and, well, had to stop training and stuff. But you know I’m going to do a marathon. I am the town runner. I run everywhere. I’m fifty.

Me: Oh. Well, I…

MBMIL: I mean I might do a half marathon, not sure. Don't have much time. I work the late shift, so I sleep all day, work all night. I come home from work, then sleep, then get up and run before I go to work. I work all night. I’m getting this book. Looks good. About running in Colorado. Might do a 10K.

Me: Neat. Well, nice talking to you. (or nice having you talk at me)

It’s a damn good thing I did not have “50 Shades of Grey” in my hand. God only knows what kind of conversation would have erected from that (Get it? Erected?)

Nice enough guy. If you are reading this MBMIL, you really are nice and thank you for saying hello. I just didn’t really feel like I was part of the conversation. Sometimes I wonder if people are lonely and that is why they give so much information and just talk, talk, talk. Either that or they just really like themselves a whole heck of a lot.

Oh, I just thought of one more crazy interaction. Eons ago we had just moved into a duplex in Denver. I came out to meet our neighbor. She was a different type of lady – older, red hair, Rosemary was her name. She told me that the walls between our two apartments were pretty thin. She told me she hoped she never heard me throwing a frying pan at Ken’s head and calling him a “cocksucker.” I’m not kidding. That’s what she said.

Ever have these kind of awkward/unusual interactions with strangers? Actually, I feel like this happens to me almost on a daily basis. I’m not trying to be a judgmental jerk. I really do love people.

I’m curious about this “50 Shades of Grey.” Anyone read it? It kind of reminds me of being in 8th grade when Judy Blume’s book, “Forever” was kind of taboo and all the rage. I did find 50 Shades at the library. There are about ten copies and I am number 65 on the wait list. GO Longmont sex fiends!


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