Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Inaugural Long Run: From Home 2 Gnome (To Hell and Back)

Date: 7/4/2006 11:00 AM
Type: Long
Course: Home To Gnome (To Hell And Back)
Distance: 20 miles
Duration: 3:26:00
Pace: 10:18 / mile
Shoe: Brooks Beast 2006 (4)
Weight: 154 lb
Weather: 90° F, Sunny

As I look back now, I can see how much anger I had inside of me. I can't say that it was not unfounded, simply because of the numerous times where life had handed me the short end of the stick, but it was the kind of anger that was still residual inside of me. The residue which had been left over from the betrayal over my supposed friends, Gerry, Treacy, Doug, etal. to all the way back to the beginning, where I was misled as a youth.

When I was young, and innocent, and full of hopes yet to be dashed, promises made to me that were yet to be broken, and my heart which was already crushed, smashed and obliterated into atomic fragments, I used to run up and down Queens Boulevard all the time. I never knew about smog or the harmful effects that I would breathe in from the tailpipes of cars. For me Queens Boulevard was actually FUN and AMUSING! There were stores everywhere! A billion landmarks, which was useful to me in a time where advanced sci-fi gadgets like Polar & Garmin watches didn't exist. Loving NY as much as I did, it was crossing the Queensborough Bridge that really sealed the deal for me. I loved approaching the bridge, and crossing the East River (I still do, actually). The winds always whip across the 59th Street Bridge (the other name for it), and would cool me down considerably, no matter how fast I was motoring. And I motored fast! Then there was the exhiliration of passing the apex of the bridge, and knowing it was a nice downhill to 2nd avenue. I loved entering the 'Big Apple'. I absolutely loved the feeling of accomplishment, and all that came with it. Training for my first & second marathons, I did most of my training along this route. Sometimes, I would shorten the run, and not go to Manhattan, opting for an out n back to my posh studio apartment in Kew Gardens instead. Sometimes, it was just a quick 2.5 mile sprint from Iberia to home too. But my favorite was the 9 miler into Manhattan. And if it weren't for the all the God darn traffic, and for all the pedestrians being killed due to negligent motor vehiclist, I would probably run this route far more often today than I used to in my REAL youth.

Below is the entry that I had actually posted on the runningahead website. After an initial reading, I was going to remove it, if not modify it. However, and with FEW exceptions, I true cherish truthful, honest emotions. And while angerness can be a very ugly, dark side to the human psyche, it is what I had felt that day. I can think of far worse things than to admit how ugly I felt that day, and one of them would be to shield my anger. In my opinion, hiding one's true feelings is the first step in the "dehumaninzing" process that has been slowly but surely making a zombie out of us all. But enough rhetoric.... On with my comments...

Written on July 4th, 2006:

"To Hell....and BACK!!

Before I began this insane adventure I asked myself,

"If I dance with the devil, will I be able to spit on his grave later?"

Never has the translation been so exact as it was today. You see, I felt
I had a delivery to make, and I wanted to do it in person.

So I began my voyage....down the Boulevard of Death. In 90 degree
weather, I was armed with bottles of water, made pit stops at 7-11, McDonalds,
Patsy's in NYC, and Burger King, and again at McDonalds. It made no
difference, my body was superheating faster than my intake of fluids, hence the
weight loss down to 154.4 (even with non-diet soda, Arizona Energy, and a 100
grand bar!!). The heat was scorching. This time, no sunscreen.
Working on only 5 hours of sleep (not a good thing either), I stopped at
7-11 in Sunnyside for a drink....and a squirt (right next to the garbage cans on
QueensBlvd!!!). Nobody saw, and if they did, so what?

Approaching the bridge, a man in a light blue classic car (like a 55 buick
or something) with his wife and kids, honked their horn at me. I was
wearing very patriotic colors (stars and stripes shorts-red white blue adidas
top, and flag bandana). He wanted to know if he could take a picture with
me and his wife. This was by Queensboro Plaza. I did and asked
him to email me a photo. We'll see what happens.

Then I crossed the bridge, the first time since NYC Marathon
2005, and the first time I went to NYC from Kew Gardens via Queens Blvd,
since I was 20 (some 21 years ago). This time though I would not turn right
back onto the bridge and head back. No, No, no, no, no.....I had a
package to deliver. And I did.

I ran along 60th street until I got to Park Avenue, and made a left turn heading south on Park. I kept running until I finally saw it.. The JP Morgan Chase Building at 270 Park. Without further adieu, I ran real close to it, right up against the front glass, and with all my might, I spit onto the glass with every breath of force I had.

After leaving my "present" there, I crossed the street, and did the same
to the other building directly across.I know it sounds crazy, but I wanted
the world to know that on this, INDEPENDENCE DAY, that I, Alex David
Gonzalez, ran 10 miles in 90 degree weather, to spit on an institution as
vile as that. To me, love and not money is my currency and it was about
time, I retaliated. But that's it. I'm done. All over. Relieved about
having done something that I had been contemplating for a couple of years
now. I feel......accomplished. I dont need to do anything else....my
SPIT, my garbage, my excretion on their expensive, and pretty glass windows,
is my symbol of what I think of that organization, and ESPECIALLY of those
who work there. Mission Accomplished."

I had put myself through a lot of self-therapy leading up to that day. A broken heart and crushed expectations can bring down the strongest of men. It took all the energy I had to survive the previous 2 years. But, I still needed some kind of closure. And for me, this was it. No matter, how immature, this was it. And even now, as I write this over a year later, I look back to that day when I spat upon the financial institution juggernaut, and I can't keep from smilling from ear to ear. Sometimes it is nice to be immature.

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