May 4th, 2005


Why would she run away from her own wedding?

Why wouldn't she? I know I would.

Run away from hers or yours?


Current Events:

We were sitting around at lunch Thursday, a lady and four guys, and the lady said something about, "What are all these abductions and murders in Georgia?" I didn't know they were "all" (I couldn't even tell you how many there have been recently) in Georgia. I thought some of them were probably elsewhere. You can tell how closely I follow the news.

But, she said, "Yeah, that girl that went out jogging the day before her wedding."

We said, "Did they find her? Was she killed?"

"Not yet, but I'm sure if they don't find her today, they'll find her dead."

One of the guys said, "Nah, she just didn't want to marry the dude. She got pressured into it by him and her friends and their families and she just realized that she didn't want to marry him, maybe never wanted to marry him. So when she went jogging she just kept jogging."

The lady said, "But she'd moved in with the guy, they were living together."

Another guy: "Yep. She moved in with him and found out what he was really like, but socially there was no graceful way out of it by then."

Third guy: "Maybe he had a teeny peeny."

Another guy: "Or maybe it was like a 4-by-4. Rough hewn."

Third guy: "Maybe he was into all kinds of kinky stuff."

Another guy: "Or maybe she was and he couldn't satisfy her."

The lady at the table thought we were the usual bunch of thoughtless, insensitive clods. And so did I, really. In my mind I thought the Georgia lady had probably been abducted or mugged or something.

So . . .

It was intriguing to find out that not only was she a "run away bride" (shame on her), but she called her fiancé to lie to him about her abduction from a phone on the wall of a 7-11 here in Albuquerque that I have used myself at one time or another over the years (cell phones being against my religion and all).

There are many days lately that I would like to take off jogging and just keep jogging. So I can relate - to some extent.

Compelling Chronicle:

And I kind of relate to being flown home with an afghan over your head, too, believe it or not.

I went mountain biking with a group of seven or eight people once to a place I hadn't been before. Most of them were stronger riders than me. After a couple of hours, one girl decided to go back down to the cars and wait for the rest of us. About fifteen minutes later, I decided I was pooped, too, and decided to follow her. Well, she had enough of a head start that I couldn't actually see her. I thought the path down the mountain would be obvious. Not so. There were so many paths down the mountain that I had no idea which one she had taken or which of them led down to the Forest Service parking lot.

After about forty minutes of trying different ways to see if I could find something familiar, the sun went down and I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. I was on the other side of the mountain from the city, so there was no glow from the city lights and it was overcast and moonless, so there was no light from the sky at all. I couldn't do anything except sit down and wait for the sun to come up, which on September 4th probably takes right around 12 hours. There are enough cacti, yucca plants, porcupines, skunks, etc., etc., that you really don't want to go stumbling around in the pitch black. So I sat down to wait. I had no jacket, no matches, no flashlight, but it only got down to 56 degrees, so while it wasn't comfortable, it wasn't life threatening in any way.

As soon as there was enough light in the sky to see the ground in front of me, I took off to the south where I knew I would eventually intersect a forest road that would take me to the main road and back to the parking lot. It was a long way around the mountain, but it was a sure way.

About 9:15 that morning I rode my bike into the ranger station parking lot to the sound of barking blood hounds, the State Police helicopter, the Sheriff's search and rescue auxiliary mobile command post and God knows what else. All of these people had been looking for me all night long. Waves of embarrassment washed over me again and again. And all I could do was stand there and take it. I couldn't blame them, they had no way of knowing I was alright. I could sort of blame me for not making sure I knew the way before I took off, but when I took off, I thought I did know the way. I only found out I didn't when it got dark. And I was probably alright precisely because I had sat down and waited till I could see where I was going.

Anyway, I just had to endure all of the questions and exclamations of relief times without number. That's why I have some idea how the Georgia lady felt after they found her. It is unlikely she will ever live that down.

It was several years before I could meet someone without having to endure the "oh, you're the guy who got lost in the mountains!" exchange. It's a weird exercise, having to ignore the un-ignorable, but you don't have much of a choice.