The end of the world as we know it
Make of it what you will, but I don’t like running anywhere unless I’m on a treadmill. (Yup. I know. Got it. You can stop now.) But I trudged around Lake Merritt today for the third time this month. Why? I guess I’m starting to distrust myself in the controlled setting of my gym. I’ve grown slightly less interested in my ability to make my rounds on the circuit’s weight-lifting machines on its second floor.
I’ve been toying with an exercise-tracking app, but today it decided to toy with me. Shortly after announcing I’d traveled a mile in 13 minutes and 46 seconds, it crashed. Between heaving gasps and sporadic squints, I rebooted the phone a few times, but couldn’t get the app to resume. I trudged home without the comfortable distractions of the music the app had been serving up, the synthesized voice and the shifting icons on-screen marking my travel, if not my progress.
A couple of weeks ago, I started re-reading Matt Ruff‘s “The Mirage.” Near its end, the definition of “apocalypse” is mentioned: an unveiling. For somebody, somewhere, the world is always ending. For everyone, it’ll all be over one day. The least anyone can and should do is put themselves in a position to see more clearly, to prepare for the moment of realization. You do what you should, without worry that you’ll get to see to the end, let alone past it.
Anyhow, I saw this wheat-pasted to one side of a big green utility box on Lakeshore Avenue across from Brooklyn Avenue, and I thought of, among other things, the general pointlessness of exercise. So I stopped long enough to take this picture, and then I kept going.