What do you like to get here? asked R., less versed in the way of the NYC diner. I got my usual, he got a BLT, we split a slice of blueberry pie. It has been twenty years now, maybe more. Everything is different but lots is the same too, his world has more colors in it than mine does, pie is better warm, Boise is a long way away but airplanes make it closer. 


I sat and worked on this goals, objectives, tactics, measures, strategic groupings alignment document and ate overpriced quiche and salad on the upper west side. It was as fun as it sounds.

I ran fourteen miles from my house to 125th street and caught the A train to S.’s house, where I asked for a banana and was informed that teenagers had eaten them out of house and home so we rushed around the corner to the closest place and both got the breakfast burrito, my coffee was hot and S.’s was cold. Inhaled it.

I’d nurtured fantasies of a formal convention lunch in the basement of the Philadelphia Sheraton, the kind with a salad course and a main course, and coffee and dessert, but it was not to be, a sandwich buffet with a couple kinds of salad, a long line that I was was in the back of, it wasn’t my favorite, but at least it had the feeling of being free.

S. ran the five-miler with me and was key to my hot-to-trot time for the first mile. I wanted to catch up with him after my start-of-the-race bathroom stop. Still working on making peeing the last thing I do before the gun goes off. We were exhausted and hungry and in need of a plate of eggs so we went to Sarabeth’s. The place was packed with runners, plus us and K., who came down from Inwood and brought me S.’s mom’s sweatshirt, a sweet gift, both moving and necessary in the cold of our table by the window.

Ebscolunch! M. and I went and it was every bit the fantasia I remembered plus some. The plus was absolutely the puff-pastry covered mushroom soup. Totally wild, we could not figure out what it was. It took a knife to get into the thing, and then there were pale lumps in the soup that were I don’t know what, bisques? I didn’t eat those. The iced tea was refreshed as fast as we could drink it, and especially in M.’s case that was really superfast. Only downside was the part where I didn’t win the raffle, and the unrelated guffawing by that one table of librarians. Somehow I felt we owed these gentleman our attention in return for the mushroom ravioli. This is why you don’t want me in charge of the revolution.

C. and K. sat across from me, catching up like you do. O. sat next to me, licking the top of the salt shaker. We don’t do that, except that, apparently, we do. At one point he declared, medal draped around his neck, I am a runner. Such sweet language! All of it was just what I needed.