To truly enjoy the holiday, one must face his fears, tempt the Fates, and/or look Death in the eye without blinking.
I did all three this morning.
Partly because I’m a bad ass.
Partly because I love Halloween.
Mostly because I’m an idiot who is set in my ways, and will fight change with every fiber of my being.
This morning, two days before Halloween, I immersed myself in the Halloween Spirit.
I became Monsoon Man.
I awoke to the sound of a great storm rattling the windows of The House on the Hill. Rain was pounding down, the wind was howling, and I could see standing water in the streets, illuminated by the street lights.
Thursday is a running day, so you bet your Jack O’ Lantern I was getting my butt out there to put some miles under my running toga.
I’ve run in rain before, Modern Philosophers, but this wasn’t rain.
It was a @#$%^&* monsoon!
No one in his right mind would want to run in that storm.
Which was why I was the perfect man for the job.
I almost drowned twice as a child, will never go into the deep end of the pool, rarely will be seen on a boat, and barely know how to swim.
I married a member of the NYU Swim Team, who was a certified Lifeguard. I did so to ensure there would always be someone near who could rescue me from drowning.
Yes, I plan ahead for the important things!
Despite this fear of water, I stepped out into a mighty storm that was nothing but mass quantities of H2O.
Right before I left, I sent a text to the Sweet Irish Girl. She probably thought I was being romantic, but it was more of my saying goodbye to her should I get swept away in the storm and never make it back to The House on Hill.
I texted that it was lashing, which is how the Irish describe heavy rain.
She wrote back that it sounded grand (how cute is that word?) and that the rain would wake me up.
She had no clue that those words might be the last we ever exchanged.
My running route was one giant puddle. My socks and sneakers were soaked the instant I turned onto State St and ran through standing water that came up to my ankles.
I tried to run on the sidewalk since that seemed safe. Total miscalculation there.
The sidewalk was covered in leaves that the storm had blown off the trees.
I stupidly assumed that the leaves rested upon the asphalt. Idiot. The leaves were actually floating in puddles as deep as the ones in the street.
I made it halfway up the block before a car sped through the standing water and totally soaked me. My spine was wet.
Somehow, I pressed on.
Seriously, this had to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. I’m not sure if I was trying to prove something to myself, face a fear, or have a great story to go along with my obituary, but it was asinine.
So I couldn’t really see the water.
Even though it was everywhere.
Every footfall landed in a puddle.
One corner was so flooded that I had to run across someone’s lawn since I didn’t have the money to pay for a ferry ride across the lake that had formed.
Finally, about a mile in, I sloshed through a puddle that felt like it came up to my knees.
That was when I screamed out a curse, that no one could hear over the wind and rain.
Oh, and also because no one else was stupid enough to be outside to hear me.
Monsoon Man turned around and headed for home.
When I made it back to The House on the Hill (not pictured above!), I was so drenched that I had to carefully remove my internal organs, wring them out in the sink, and then return them to their stations inside my saturated skin.
The large intestine was extremely different to put back in properly, and I still feel a tad “intestiney” even now.
It was a fun story to tell at work, though, and I did enjoy the looks I received when people heard I ran in the storm.
The Sweet Irish Girl and I are having some stupid fight right now, but I’m not trying to stop it because I’m simply glad to be squabbling with her.
I really thought I’d never talk to her again, and even though she thinks me to be an arsehole (gotta love that word!) right now, she has no idea that I’m sitting here smiling because I’m alive to bicker with her.
Halloween certainly does make me feel alive.
And very, very wet.