My nanny Ilana runs several running events in Seattle. One of these is called Run Scared and takes place in Seward Park.
Since Ilana became my best friend’s girlfriend, I wanted to show her event a bit of support. I had intended to go: Two years ago Leo was just a baby and we passed. Last year we slept in and just missed the start time.
This year: Well, the night before was Sakura-con’s annual Halloween Party. Sakura-con’s annual Halloween event usually happens at the University Heights community center, a very old (110 year old) former elementary school. This year we were somehow in the basement. But I guess that’s a good spot for a Halloween party anyway.
Ostensibly Sakura-con’s event was a potluck, but only a few people brought food, mostly desserts. I brought risotto, since who wants to eat a cold sandwich for dinner? Originally we planned to eat out before the party, but with Hitomi coming home late from her sewing class, it seemed more expedient to simply toss some stuff in a pot.
I should rewind a bit further: After getting a nice bonus from work, I decided to buy a kayak kit from Pygmy and Hitomi started working on Leo’s costume. (I say costume, but really she was spending her time on a decoration for Leo’s red wagon.) So the past week or so we’ve been spending our evenings in the basement, me in the garage and Hitomi in from of her sewing machine.
Buying a kayak kit was probably a mistake. It meant lots of cold evenings in a garage, where you can’t really fiberglass without a space heater blasting. And when was I going to kayak anyway? And then with Boon suddenly off to Malaysia due to his father’s passing, and a lot of pressure to complete a work project, this 80 hour epic craft project was more work than I should have committed to. Rather than being a way to relax, it became a source of late-night anxiety. Especially because early on I screwed up a few things—gluing the butt joints not so well—this was now a project I had to complete to get away from.
Back to the Run Scared event: Yes, we managed to arrive just in time for the start, though it was about a 20 minute journey from the registration to the actual start. Leo wasn’t too keen on riding the wagon, and when Leo walks it’s very much a stop and go process. There’s quite a bit of back and forth about sticks coming down from trees, and whatnot. I cannot entirely criticize Leo, as he’s enjoying life in all its aspects, as I’m hurrying it along, but this is a ‘race’. Or at least there’s an end time to try to make. (I’ve done the cycle events where you get back after the event: It is very sad to come back to no food and cheer.)
With some misty rain turning to substantial droplets, and the course devoid of anyone else in costume, it was like no event was taking place. Sure, I enjoyed my costume, and Leo’s, and all the attention from passers by, but what were we really doing here? I was pulling Leo a few miles in the wagon, and Hitomi (8 months pregnant) carried Leo maybe a mile on her back. It wasn’t a physical challenge as much as physical discomfort. The final sweepers—fittingly one a grim reaper, the other an angel—were shadowing us on the way back. They too gave up on us, passed by us to pull out signs; photos of those slain by horrible disease. I didn’t get much of a look as they passed us by. We were struggling to keep the momentum going and made it to the finish, where everyone was eager to pack up the tent and head home.
Fortunately, there were a few slices of pumpkin bread left and we got one of the last balloon animals, which then Leo untwisted into some sort of red probe to probe wherever he could. Hitomi and I had to pee, of course, and the restroom was one last slog. I got the car and we went off to someplace more civilized.