Yesterday I returned home to find one of my neighbors standing by my door.
“I need your help” she said.
I pretended to search for my keys in my pocket while I went over the list of things I could possibly help her with.
Water her flowers.
Lend her money.
Kill her boyfriend and make away with the life insurance.
“I need you to go jogging with me in the morning.” She asked.
“Let me help you with that.” She offered pointing to the folder in my arm.
“Oh no. It’s okay.” I mumbled.
The last thing I wanted was for my neighbor to find out that I actually subscribed for Playboy.
I asked her what time she wanted to leave. She said five. I suggested six. So five thirty it was. We agreed to meet by the gate when she flashed me. I opened my door to go in .She offered again to carry my folder for me.
“No really. It’s okay. “I insisted firmly. Tucking Victoria Silvesdt bared secrets father beneath my arm. Her offer was becoming suspicious. Was she a spy working for my mum?
The next morning. I was just about to shoot the world’s most notorious terrorist who looked a lot like Mickey Mouse when my ringing phone woke me up from my dream.
“Hello. I’m calling to flash you.”
It was the lady my jogging partner.
I stumbled into my wardrobe looking for what to wear. I had three pairs of sneakers. All in pretty good condition. I didn’t want to ruin any yet. I looked father in. I had a worn out pair of safety boots.
To give her her due she didn’t say anything about my shoes until we started. And then she quietly asked me between puffs.
“Are you wearing boots?”
“Safety boots “I corrected. “If anyone tries to rob us I can kick him with it. And if that doesn’t work I can give them to him.”
She nodded her head. In agreement or amusement. I wasn’t sure.
We stayed quiet for the next five minutes. She was trotting with me clanging alongside.
Then the race started.
So I bucked up and ran harder till l reached her. I waited till I was almost alongside her and then I increased my pace. Thirty seconds later I was ahead of her.
Clang clang. Went my safety boots.
I could hear the crowd roar in support.
Go Carl go!
That ought to send a message home.
And then through the roar of the crowd I heard the distinct chump chump of her Nikes. Another second and she was beside me. Matching me step for step. I searched within for inner strength .I closed my eyes and searched for my inner chi .
See Master Wong, page 65 of the book. How to find your inner chi when your eyes are closed.
I opened my eyes and she was ahead. Speeding away.
It was official. We were no longer jogging for fun.
It was now a matter of honor. A battle of the sexes at 5.45 in the morning. Who was going to win? My neighbor who probably had never jogged in her life. Or dashing, strong muscular and all around good guy me.
Please. Like she has a chance.
I tossed aside my inner chi .I’d need more than that. I grabbed my manly pride and I ran.
We ran. No longer where we jogging. It was a race. You should have seen us. We raced down the streets heaving our lungs out. We were side by side. My nostrils flared as I gasped out my determination to win this one. Sweat poured over us, drenching us like we had just taken a shower. We ran alongside each other refusing to yield. The 100 meter eternal dash was on and it was going to be a tough one.
I was determined. Whatever the outcome. She wasn’t going to win.
And then we heard the growl.
We saw them. Three dogs. Eyes glowing red in the dark. Their fangs hung out of their lip. One of them winked at me. And then they came after us. The lead dog let out a loud howl as they galloped towards their prey.
It was 5.47. If their plan went through, by 5.48 we would be breakfast.
Not if we had a say in it.
Without a word to each other. We changed our tactic. . We stopped running. No more 100 meter dash.
We started flying.
Our feet barely touched the floor as we streaked down the streets. A bus swung out of no where heading straight at us. Not to bothers. We jumped clear over it and kept on running. I don’t think I have ever run that fast or that hard. The entire time my female companion kept murmuring Jesus Jesus. The dogs kept howling and stayed with us.
By 5.48 we were still alive but I could feel the energy waning. The rate we were going we wouldn’t make it. My neighbor’s chants were now just jeezzzzzzz jeezzzzz. Even the dogs seem tired by their sprint. We must have covered 5 states in one minute.
Yes…that was us you saw outside your window.
And then, just when I was about to call it a truce and ask the dogs If they liked me with or without ketchup ,the dogs stopped running. They just slid to a stop and started barking after us. Maybe they got tired of chasing us. Maybe the found some other breakfast. Maybe jezzzzz finally answered our prayers and sent a couple of cats our way.
I’ll never know.
Five lifetimes later it was 5.53.
We were back where we started. The gate. Normally we were supposed to do a couple of cool down sequences and some stretches but I was done with exercise. I had lost 3 kilos, my honor and my love for dogs out there. What more was there to loose?
We stood beside each other in appraisal. Warriors in combat.
“That was a good race.” She finally said.
I nodded. And then started laughing. She joined in. We laughed for a minute. Wild hysterical unrestrained laugher. At the back of it all, I heard my other neighbors locking their door.
Idiots laughing at 5 in the morning. You can’t be too sure
Eventually we calmed down. “Same time tomorrow?” She asked.
I smiled and nodded.
And then I remembered.
By the way “My name’s Carl.”
She gave me a cute smile. She was cute.
“Onyi“ She said and walked away.
She did have a nice ass.
Someone knocked on my door.
It was another of my neighbors. Some guy that lived next door.
“We’re playing foot ball and we’re a man short. You want to join in?”
I slammed the door and went back to my Vitoria Silvesdt Playboy magazine.
What’s the point being healthy if it kills you?