- Can’t do tequila shots before the run. I thought it would make the run more entertaining but it only made me spew exorcist vomit.
- Can’t smoke weed before the run. It seems like a no brainer but I had to do something to get me motivated.
- Can’t have sex. It just makes you lazy. I know every time I get off, I just want to go to sleep or to Taco Bell not run twenty six miles.
- Can’t cheat.
- Can’t quit.
When I was twenty-five years old getting drunk with a couple of friends at a bar we all decided that we were going to run a marathon. When I woke up the next day the idea seemed fucking ridiculous and diarrhea silly. The most running I had done in my life was probably as a fat kid chasing an ice cream truck.
The next day, hung-over, of course my friends backed out before we even started to train. I decided to keep my word. I wanted the challenge. I just wanted to do something healthy. When I told my friends I was keeping my promise, they laughed. They considered me too lazy. They joked that I was always the first to the liquor cabinet and the last to leave a bathhouse. I knew I wasn’t the most discipline person in the world. I liked bad decisions. I liked dancing on table tops until seven in the morning. I decided to run the marathon because I figured I needed the discipline. I had something to prove to myself. I wanted the bragging rights.
I also figured if Oprah fat ass could do it, I knew I could do it. I started slow, a mile four times a week. In the beginning, I felt Forrest Gump stupid. Run, Forrest, Run. I was actually waiting for me to quit. It seemed so unnecessary to get up at dawn and run five miles. In the beginning I was angry. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care if my friends laughed at me or were placing bets to see how long it would take for me to give up. I hated that others thought I was so weak and basically a crack head. I knew I had nothing to prove. In the beginning I felt like the white rat in the maze trying to avoid the cliche of cheese. I knew that was the experiment. After three months, I learned I was going to have to do it sober. That really pissed me off. I couldn’t do the ten miles after a night partying. I needed all of my energy. After three months I was running thirteen-16 miles. My body no longer accepted toxics. But something beautiful happened after five months of training. I got to the twenty mile mark. It was like an outer body experience. I completely separated from my body. I could feel myself running but it was like I was standing still. I could feel myself breathing but it was like water. It was such peace and serenity. I felt gentle calmness. I would even dare to say I felt God. And I never had been so healthy in my life. My eyes went from that yellowish alcoholic glare to brilliant white like a Colgate commercial. My brain didn’t feel like something holding my body down during a hung-over but energetic and suddenly I was good at jeopardy.
In 2001, I ran the San Antonio marathon. It was the proudest day of my life. The next week I was back at the bar. Funny, because i had gone missing for half a year, everybody thought I had gone to jail or was in the hospital. That’s gay life, can’t get old, sick or sober without conspiracy theories.
The only part I hated about the marathon was the ending. It seemed so anticlimactic after twenty six miles. I wanted to keep running until my body gave up. I wanted the ending to be brilliant but I just crossed a line with forty other people, given my time and another bottle of water. I guess that’s the same with every sitcom I ever loved. I hated the ending of Seinfeld, Sex and the City and Sopranos. I guess because I didn’t want it to end. Most people don’t’ get endings. We just disappear.
And then it’s that nagging question, what was it all for? It’s usually that feeling I get after a drunken one night stand. Was I lonely? Was I bored? Am I a slut with no conscious? Probably the latter. What was it all for? I once stood in line for a day and half for Star Wars movie tickets. The movie sucked. I once masturbated thirteen times in a twenty four hour period when I was twenty one years old. I had to go to the emergency room and get a tube stuck down my dick so that I could pee. Yet, that’s not my most embarrassing moment. I once entered a hot dog contest and won second place, dipping hot dogs in water and forcing the pig slop down my throat without gagging. I threw up so violently afterwards. Till this day I can’t look at a hot dog without getting sick. Shit, why did I go to college? I had the nagging question that it has to make sense or mean something like Christmas and Valentines Day. Do Hallmark sell cards like, "Why the fuck did i do that?"
Some think running twenty six miles like a seven foot black drag queen in red pumps without getting chased by the KKK is unnecessary. But why do we do anything. In college I could blame peer pressure like doing 13 tequila shots in a row. I wanted to be cool. As a grown man, I don’t have to do shit I don’t’ want to, sober. So what’s the difference between romantic and crazy? My grandfather would say crazy is when you get caught with your pants down and the other person laughs at you-- but if that person pulls his or her pants down too, it’s romantic, but if you both get arrested its pathetic.
Yet, I know romantic often turns into crazy or creepy. I knew this guy in high school who set an entire street on fire to spell out “I love you Tamika Shanice Walker.” It was romantic until the fire spread and burned down like three houses. Tamika immediately broke up with him and got a restraining order. She said he was crazy. And let’s not forget Lisa Nowak who cemented her status as the only astronaut we’ll remember because she fell in love with another astronaut, then drove 900 miles to confront/kidnap her love’s girlfriend wearing a diaper. 900 hundred miles is like twelve hours in a car, at one point did she ever tell herself that she might’ve gone insane.
But back to my point. This is the worse part of a writer’s life, the ending. It’s the last chapter in the book. I want to commit suicide at this part. It means “what the fuck was it all for?” Why did I spend the last two years of my life writing these damn comics? Am I crazy? Did I need attention? Was I lonely? Am I going to get paid? Am I going to win an award? Why did I quit my job? Why did I try to make it all make sense? Is anybody going to care? Has anybody seen my damn dog, he ran away like a month ago when I stop feeding him? So many questions and not enough answers. Why do we do anything?
This is the worse part of my writer’s life. This is when I feel like a loser. I’m still nobody. I can’t brag. Nobody cares unless you get rich or famous. I owe too many money. I laugh because I know there’s no money in writing. It’s depressing. It’s the reason why probably so many writers become drunks. I need a drink. I laugh because being a writer is like being homeless. It looks romantic and everybody thinks you’re scheming or got cash stash somewhere. I’m afraid of seeing my landlord because how many jokes can I make why the rent is late this month. He doesn’t think I’m funny anymore. Nobody thinks I’m funny anymore.
Damn, am I somebody yet? But happiness can be so fleeting. It’s like the marathon; you get to the end and want to keep running. You want to keep trying to make life or death make sense. It's only worth it when i pull down my pants and show them my dick, they don't laugh. I guess that's what i've been doing these past two years, i became a flasher. It's worth it when they give me the dollar and the next they say i made them laugh. I suddenly don't feel so pathetic anymore. It inspires me to keep looking for the gentle calmness. Maybe it’s god. It’s over. This is the last comic. I got to go back to reality now. I got to get a new dog. I got to get a real job. Thank you for being so kind to me these last two years. You made my life romantic. The end.