little sarah Big World

Tag: running

I Am Here With You

~December 27th, 2014~

Amed, Bali, Indonesia

View from Warung Ari, Amed, Bali (December 2014)

Wake to this view, alone in a big bed, save for the companionship of my prized possessions, a habit I’ve formed while traveling, one which reminds me of Espy and Julia Wertz. Toothpaste on my chest, for zits, and that reminds me of Melissa, and Whitney.

Cohabitation, with Accessories (Bali 2014)

In the bathroom there’s a cockroach, legs up, rocking gently side to side. A little yogi. I put a glass over him, for lack of a better plan.

*       *       *

A rocky run on the beach, feet slipping on fist-sized stones, as the locals light incense, make their offerings to the gods. Today, in their finest: bright lace-trimmed blouses for the women, crisp white coats and head-wraps for the men. Saris for all. Today is a holiday in Bali.

Amed Beach, Bali, December 2014

Stones give way to rocks and boulders, and I find myself scrambling among them, scaring the natural inhabitants. Brown crabs scurry, suspicious, crawling sideways into dark cracks. Cockroaches I can’t even see make a noise like static electricity as they skitter before my footfalls. Slick, dark salamanders, smaller than my palms, rush like liquid, in droves, out of my way, leaping with delicate plinks into the water.

Then there are the snails, shining tawny half-spheres–part beetle, part barnacle–which literally tumble in my wake, detaching themselves and clattering like marbles to the rocks below.

Everything moves away from me.

Amed Coastline, Bali, Indonesia (December 2014)

I move away, too. Today is Eric’s birthday, turning 30 on the other side of the globe, and all I could offer were words of praise and love from afar. Crawling on the rocks I think of him: the time we went to Lake Powell, became friends, ran on the redrock and talked with ease. He’d like this, here and now.

*       *       *

A photo on Facebook of Sister Natalie and Perry, taken by Espy, out to eat, laughing. Silly. I miss them all, and for a moment I feel the tug, the want, pulling me back home.

But then it releases, a sigh, a breath of air. I do not wish I was there.

I’m happy to be just exactly where I am, happy to be traveling alone. Happy for the friends and family I can return to any time, and in the meantime I carry them with me, remembering, their names and faces cycling like a mantra through my mind, chanted in my heart (Espy, Melissa, Whitney, Eric, Natalie, Perry…)

So I am never really alone

On the Beach, Amed, Bali (December 2014)

Because also there’s that stranded roach, trapped in glass, waiting for me back at my room.

The Modern Dancers Will Love This

Sometimes I condense my life down to a single gesture, like a Christian drawing his half moon in the sand, the subtle arch of a foot–now sickle, now bevel– which stands for a whole life and a world of beliefs and fears.

Except that mine tends to be a shrug of the shoulders, or a sigh without relief.

For a while I offered the universe my scrunched face, meaning I wasn’t sure. Meaning I didn’t know, but would try anyways, because Maybe.

Tonight I throw up my hands like goal posts, shoulders lowered, no combat here. I give it up.

And if you want to extend that gesture, the way a balloon released floats until it is a speck, until it bursts against the atmosphere, or the way the sun’s rays stretch through years to reach us gently here on Earth, where we sweat and fret and bemoan the heat, then you can picture my raised arms extending, up and up, my head tilted back, mouth open, where my silver-soft soul escapes my dry rough red lips, screaming silently and with a calm and strong gesture my hands go up, my chest lifts and head back and I crucify myself, pounding through the cemetery in the dead of night, while crowds gather in stadiums and I can hear them and fear them, but I am among the deceased and I am breathing. Steady, ready, hard.

*       *       *

Oh, and Happy Halloween.

Once again I’ve lapsed in my posting. Busy with work, and window displays, just like this time last year.

I’ve also been:

crying (found my tears)

but not throwing up (any more)

not cutting myself (except that once)

hardly eating (silver lining)

doing running-ballet torture-running-biking exercise marathons (“Conquer Thyself”)

*       *       *

Conquer thyself, little sarah, you foolish mother fucker. I love your aching guts.

Keeping My Secrets

Recently I said that even my bad decisions turn out to be good decisions. I tell the truth, try to be myself to the best of my abilities (this little light of mine…) and things come full circle. Or at least they feel real. Bad, but real. Anxious, but honest. Etc.

*       *       *

I’ve got plans, Friends, for the first time in a while. I wasn’t looking to make plans, but then they just started making themselves, and I am more than happy to go along for the ride. (Life is what happens to you…)

I now know what my life will look like for the next 6 months, and I’ve got a good hunch about Life after that. There will be crazy races, tattoos, haircuts, big moves, big decisions, lots of music, lots of hard work and as much time as I can possibly spend with my friends and family.

Because who knows when this charmed little chapter of my life will end?

I do, Friends. And I’m not telling.

I ran a race today

I’ve been sick for over a week now–sore throat, swollen glands, achy body, general exhaustion.

I don’t sleep anymore, hardly, averaging 5 hours/night. Even when I try to nap, I can get maybe 10 minutes of actual rest in.

I have a huge raised bruise on my right thigh from slamming into the corner of the bed post at Dad’s house.

I stored my contacts in tap water last night.

But still (still), I ran my favorite 10k this morning.

And kicked so, so much ass.

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I remember:

-Giant fake sequoias and a rising sense of panic, an urgent text–“I feel supremely un-okay”–and then reassurance, caring

-A long drive that turned out to be so much more perfect than a short one

-Your hand on my leg

-Almost crashing, over and over, but not really feeling scared

-Drinking bourbon straight from the bottle

-Holding each other, frantically, because this was finally real. It was touchable.

-Crying in the bathroom; missing my friends

-3 hours of sleep

-Watching you drink a mug of coffee, black

-A drive that I never wanted to end

-Waiting for you outside the bathroom

-Your hand on my back

-A long lazy lunch

-“Where does he think I’m from?”

-Stealing kisses in the car

-2 hours behind a budget truck (high centered), and absolutely not caring. Being content, just to be there. Just to be near you.

-Skipping a nap and dinner in favor of tall glasses of whiskey

-Being unable to get up off the couch

-A ridiculous party, never-ending laughs, running home, pretending to be asleep

-Piecing together the night before

-Popcorn for breakfast

-Coming home sweaty after a run to your smiling face

-Changing with the door wide open

-Screaming Turkish music, and meeting new people

-Feeling like I ought to live up to expectations; feeling unable to do so

-Being so, so cold all of the time

-Long walks

-A secret spot

-Saving the end of the story for later

-The Giggles

-A night in with mota, wine, and The Tip of the Iceberg

-Waking up earlier

-Talking for hours in bed, and an internal sigh of relief

-Teaching each other

-A complete meal (bet you anything those pancakes weren’t vegan)

-A walk on the beach

-Watching you watch me watch you smoke

-Hanging out, looking at pictures, smoking, talking

-Meeting my twin!

-SLAYING IT at karaoke

-After being so nervous and anxious that I was about to ask to leave

-Because karaoke is infinitely scarier to me than any other performance

-Because you were drunk and instantly so comfortable with me, while I felt uneasy. And guilty.

-Out of my element

-A failed dance party of two

-Your eyes

-A quick drive to the airport, and goodbye for now

*       *       *

I don’t remember perfection, but I remember everything. The amazing parts, the scary parts, the anxious parts, the hunger, the hangovers. It wasn’t perfect, and I am not perfect. I am real, and so are you, and so is this.

As real as the pain of its absence.

As real as the relief of its return.

Getting By/A Little Help/My Friends

Sitting on Eric’s bed, even though he’d offered me a chair, because I wanted to curl up, legs crossed, hug my knees.

“I just don’t want to eat anything,” I tell him. “I get shaky, so I know it’s time to eat something, but the taste means nothing to me. It just seems like the worst idea.”

I break, start to cry, and he comes over, kneels down to hug me, my wet face resting against the warm length of his upper arm. Just then Iz comes in, all sweetness and light, saying, “I brought you a smoothie, Sarah,” which makes me cry harder and laugh at the same time.

We all three of us hug. I drink the smoothie. Talk about running with Eric.

Feel a little better.

(Thank you)

By Foot

Despite my best efforts, despite myself, I keep going to bed too late on work nights. Last night it was talking with Nicole on her “luscious back porch,” which meant I didn’t get to bed by 10:30 as planned, but rather 1:30. With a wake-up call of 5:30.

Don’t worry, though, I just slept right through that, waking up 7 minutes after I was supposed to already be at work. Which meant: pants on, glasses on, shoes on, frozen quinoa muffin in the purse and RUN. Literally–1.2 miles at 6:30 am.

Life is strange and unexpected, Friends.

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Lima, Peru


The Good, The Bad, and The Hungry

So I got my alone time. A day and a half to explore Lima on my own, and parts of it were so satisfying–running in the park…

…buying trinkets and drinking fresh sugar cane juice in the artisan market…

…going for long, long walks on a dreary but not unpleasant day, just to check out the city, its people and plazas…

…admiring the architecture…

…and enjoying the city’s beauty, stopping to eat a churro or snap a photo, because I could. Because I was alone, at last.

On the other hand, Lima is also where I was snubbed by my couch surfing host, walked around for hours (literally) trying to find something to eat, and was openly sexually harassed (the ol’ ass-grab) just outside my hostel.

That was while I was on my way in just to grab my pack and catch a taxi to the airport.

I have never, in my entire life, been more ready to leave a city, more anxious to get back home. I was just done.

36 hours in Lima was more than enough. For me.

Creature Comforts


A Room of One’s Own…in Peru

Early on in the trip I decided that I would like to finish things in comfort, or at least relative comfort–in a private hostel room. I just figured that after all the buses and taxis and jam-packed dorms and ever-changing couch surfs–not to mention constant “companionship” from B & J–I’d want some privacy and relaxation for my brief stay (1 night only) in Lima. So I booked it, weeks out.

Then I second-guessed myself, as I’ve been known to do. “I’ve spent so much money already, and why wouldn’t I want to couch surf and meet someone who could show me the best of Lima since I’m only there one night, and I am so anti-social and lame, blerg!”

So I found a couch surf (with a girl, which is rare), cancelled my reservation, and felt I’d done the right thing.

Guess what, though? My original, non-exhausted, non-panicking self was right. The couch surf turned out to be a bust. The girl wasn’t even home, and I was supposed to stay in the care of her little sister, but then lil sis had to go to class with her house keys, which meant I needed to stay in their filthy, piss-smelling apartment in a shady part of town until the older sister (my couch surfing contact) came home. Six hours.


You don’t need to hear about The Panic, though. Let me just say that after several frantic phone calls, emails, and a quick escape via taxi, I was able to reclaim my previously-reserved room 1900 Backpacker’s Hostel, where I spread out and relaxed to my heart’s content.

(Big sigh of relief)

Seriously, though, I was so giddy at having my own space for the first time in nearly a month that I lied down on the floor and made something like snow angels. Then I went for a long run while listening to Adele. Then I danced around my room in joy. Then I had food from a vegan restaurant (!!!) that was just down the street.

Then I watched bootlegged American movies on the hostel’s big TV, drank beer, ate snacks, and went to bed. Happy as a clam

Moral of this story? Trust yourself. Trust that you know yourself, and do as you please.