Friday, August 13, 2010

Running in the Dark

So, I ran in the dark last night

Wow was it dark. I live on a gravel road. It's a mile and a half long between two paved roads. I started out running west and it's 1.4 miles from my driveway to the road. On either side of the road is corn that is taller than I am.

You know it was OK while I was running away from the house. I knew the house was behind me, not that far away was safety. Then I went down a hill and across the small bridge at the bottom and was going up the hill and the house at the top of the hill has a big dusk-to-dawn light by the road. Running into the circle of light was the first light since I left the kitchen. The darkness was so complete that with my hand in front of my face and backdropped by the white of the gravel I could see my hand, but not my fingers. With the corn behind them, the black of infinite night I could see my fingers... and the beady glowing eyes of the creatures of the night that were out there, among the rows of the corn that whispered/rustled, called out to me in susurrated whispers.

The moon was set and the stars were out, coming out at least. When I left the circle of light, continuing towards the main paved road I realized that my night vision was completely shot now. I couldn't see anything really. As I got closer to the paved road the sound of my feet hitting the gravel got louder. The rustling of the corn in the fields got more pronounced and my imagination started messing with me so I turned around and ran back. I'm not ashamed to admit it. A moonless night in Iowa cornfields is creepy, period.

But I had to go through the light again, the stupid light that messed with my vision. I closed one eye and ran that way, turning my hat so the bill of the ball cap obscured as much light as possible, pulling it way down close over my eyes. 

It didn't help. When I entered the Stygian blackness on the other side of the light I had to cross that bridge and then I was up the hill and realized my illusion of safety of the house being “just behind me” was completely wrong. I couldn't see the house or any light from the office behind our house. I picked up my pace and clouds moved in from the west making it even darker. A wind picked up and it was cool. If it weren't creepy it would have felt good. As it was it felt like a breath of crypt air puffing into my face.

I won't say I was scared. It wasn't to the level of scared. But it was creepy for sure. If I'd been walking instead of running it would have been worse. I had a red reflector light on my arm flashing as I ran so nobody would hit me and I had a flashlight, but if I used it not only would it attract bugs it would wreck my night vision and with the light on all I could see was the little pool of light I was standing in. Nothing out there... in the night... Yeah, probably won't do too many moonless night runs in the future.

PS:  I know that backdropped isn't a word and neither is susurrated.
PPS: I had a flashlight with me, just not on, and I had a reflective red blinker on my arm so I was visible to traffic if there had been any. I had my phone too. It was safe.
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