L.A. Rock n Roll Half
Elvis pushed past me this morning. And then another Elvis. And then another. Then there was an Asian Elvis. And another Asian Elvis with a pony tail. They played loud obnoxious rock-and-roll from a baby stroller, and then broke open some cold beers from the cooler in the stroller seat. They handed out a few cans, offering me a beer too. Even in a sea of costumed strangers, I still felt like I could belong.
It's funny that I was even there, that I continued to train and run like this after all these years. It all started in Baghdad 2006. I may have gotten bored of my normal four or five miles, so I thought I should do six. Then another day I decided to do seven. I thought to myself, if I could do seven, then I should try eight. I figured if I was going to do eight miles, then I should try to do ten- and so forth. From there, a runner was born. Perhaps it was ironically my way of making peace with myself and my surroundings.
From L.A. Live to USC, through Little Tokyo past the Bonaventure, I traveled back through memory lane, remembering all the trips downtown with my family or on school days off when there was no one to stay home with me. Every spot was vaguely familiar, like I may have seen it before, but wasn't quite sure. Age sort of does that to me: makes my memory faint. L.A. didn't feel much like "home" anymore, but it sure made me miss a lot of things about my childhood.
Though I was out of place, I still was where I was meant to be: right in the middle of a pack of runners. That always seems to feel like home.