The Runner Diaries: 4/16/20

This was a long and boring day of Running.   Many people wanted tacos.  The elderly  wanted Dover sole.  I phoned a customer from the aisles of CVS, confused:  what is Zim’s Max Free Gell?  “It’s zit cream,” she told me.

“Ah,” I said.  “They don’t seem to have that brand.  Would you like to try CVS brand Maximum Strength Acne Cream instead?  It costs $5.99.”

“I don’t have acne,” she snapped.  “I just have ONE zit.”  Right.

She repeated herself:  “It’s not acne it’s just one single zit.”  The way she spat out the word zit, with such disgust.  I felt a mixture of compassion and slight panic, as if her self-loathing might be contagious.

Later I needed something beautiful so I turned to poetry.  Glancing at the latest episode of the Poetry Magazine podcast at a red light, the title of the current poem seemed to be “They Killed Cows.  I Hate Them”.  I immediately thought of the film 1917, and was jealous of the idea that someone had written a sort of ekphrastic response to the killing of animals in the film by German troops.

I had misread the title, though, the poem was actually called “They Killed Cows.  I Killed Them,” by an Indian poet responding not to a film but to current events. Apparently there’s a growing trend among Hindu extremists to carry out acts of terrorism against butchers and ranchers who raise animals for meat.

So much for beauty.  I delivered another batch of tacos and called it a night.

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