run-run-run-run…all the day long…
Living here, in the south end of Halifax, only a kilometer or so from beautiful Pleasant Point Park, and exactly half-way between Dalhousie U and St. Mary’s University, I feel like I am surrounded by the League of Junior Spartans.
Everyday, all day long, young women jog by me on their way to the park. And they run by me in the hundreds. On particularly beautiful Saturday or Sunday mornings, they may even run by me in the thousands.
Some jog by themselves, but more often they are in duos, or in little running flocks of bobbing birds.
The bob-tailed women run by with such military precision, and grimness of purpose, that I keep wanting to look over my shoulder, or out to the Harbor’s horizon, expecting the Huns to be knocking down the walls at any moment.
A veritable sea of bobbing pony-tails.
There are so many of them in my neighbourhood, running by my house at all hours of the day – the flock of women who run under my bedroom window every morning precisely at 6:15; the pair I saw out running at 3am because they can’t sleep. And everyone’s pony-tail crisp and clean, their Lululemon uniforms always tight and firm and creased.
I often see these same women when they are on their way out together on a Friday night. They are off to house-parties and indie-music rock bars, all wearing black tights, knee-high leather boots, and clutching cell phones. With their freshly-washed hair smelling of strawberries, or kiwis and grapefruit.
The young men I encounter on my jogs blow by me as if I were a pylon. They run much less in flocks (unless they are running with women). They are like thoroughbred horses, or lone-wolves, their crew cut eyes already firmly set on the corporate ladder.
Everyone is in training. Running with military precision. The Keepers of the Future.
They eat well and drink little (with the occasional binge to blow off some highly-repressed steam). According to Statistics Canada they are having less than ½ the sex of similarly-aged students back in the ‘70’s. When I meet them at dinner parties I sense a certain panic, that they aren’t having enough sex – but they secretly like it this way, and so it doesn’t seem to bother them as much as you might think.
Most of the pony-tail crowd prefer to get together with other women and cook and talk. Yes, you heard me right. Cook and talk. There is a whole renaissance happening in the university kitchen of the middle class young woman. Sure, there is still a huge swath of students who eat orange-coloured mac-and-cheese out of the box, and swill beer till they burst, and slub around campus with their fat asses and droopy drawers. (That university crowd is a whole other sad tale for another day.)
The pony-tails, on the other hand, love to cook. Organic. Glutton-free. Lactose-free. Grow Local. Market-sourced. I was invited to a pony-tail Thanksgiving dinner of early-twenty-something women, which turned out to be a glutton-free feast of wonderfully flavorful vegetarian dishes, a clam-stuffed free-range organic turkey, and brandy-soaked cranberry sauce. And plenty of red wine for everyone.
I’ve never participated in such a collective orgasm over food before. The after-dinner intoxication that flowed through everyone was like the satiation one finds after an all you can eat feast at the end of a three-day orgy.
At the end of which we all go home with our guilt of having ate so much, knowing that tomorrow, we will have to add an extra kilometer or two to the run, in order to get back on track, and stay the course.