Thursday, September 13, 2012


 For the last few years, between June and September and between the hours of 5am and 6:45am, I run through the intersection of Glenlake & Sheridan two or three times a week.  It is one of the many intersections I run through while making my way to the lakefront path. Overall, I wouldn't consider this intersection particularly memorable. There's high rises and a park nearby. You can see the lake from Sheridan and faintly hear the red line from a few blocks away.

During these early morning runs, I often see my friend Glen. Glen's (the name I've given him, of course) in his 70's. Maybe 80's. He always has a white t-shirt on. He sits on a short wall bordering the sidewalk outside his condo complex. Sometimes his friend, another older guy whom I haven't named, sits with him. More recently he's had a small dog in his company.

I used to see Glen in the mornings at the Loyola track. He would always walk the opposite way I was running. We started saying hi then. Maybe he still goes to the track. I just don't run into him there anymore.

I imagine Glen sees a lot of activity on his stoop each morning. Hundreds of cards flying down Sheridan. The annoying bus announcing itself (this is the 147 Outer Drive Express to...Howard) at the bus stop just in front of his place. The Catholic school kids heading to Sacred Heart up Sheridan and the Jewish kids heading to school down Sheridan. People walking their dogs with retractable leashes. The group Teamsters camping out with their Dunkin' Donuts and their large inflatable rat at a building further south on Sheridan all summer. This is, in essence, Glen's morning world.

Then there's the runners. I'm not sure, truthfully, if Glen says "Hello!" "Good Morning!" or "Have a great day!" to every runner. He may. Or maybe just to the few he has come to recognize over time. Or maybe it's just me.

Either way, I've grown accustomed to looking for Glen. I see him a mile into each run and with a mile remaining. We always greet each other. Over time, I've decided that Glen would probably think something was wrong if I was walking, so I make sure to always run by him. We always smile at each other.

I wonder if he knows he's the first person I talk to on those mornings.

As the hours of sunlight in each day grow shorter and marathon grows closer, I know I have just a few weeks left of seeing Glen. That is, until next year.

No comments: