True Love Forever, Interrupted

Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy in “The Hardy Boys”

Dear Mr. Cassidy,

It has recently come to my attention that I neglected to end our relationship that I alone started, and that I alone declared exclusive, in 1977. Upon review of my journals, dating back to your time on the Hardy Boys, I noted that I pledged my true love forever (TLF) to you many, many times. I even wrote you letters declaring this.

I am aware that you likely never got these missives, on which I used my best Palmer Method penmanship. I am sure that whoever ran your fan club at that time was threatened by my…


Cardiac Athletes

With the support of strangers who became friends

Luc Potvin (left) and Shawn Conway meeting in Boston, 2018

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories highlighting just a few members of the global network, Cardiac Athletes. (© Cardiac Athletes 2020 |All Right Reserved) Three runners/cyclists are included in this article. Their stories contain some descriptions of their cardiac event. If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself, or a loved one, please seek immediate medical attention.

When a Massachusetts runner had a heart attack after a 10k in August 2016, he thought maybe his running days were behind him.

He’d lost consciousness repeatedly in a friend’s driveway, but surmised he had heat exhaustion…


Image by OpenIcons from Pixabay

“Your skin is made of paper and your bones are made of glass,” — my friend Bridget, after taking me to the ER again.

Some of my earliest memories center on my tendency to drop things, break things, and trip. It took me years to understand my spatial relationship with the world. I have never been able to navigate easily. I fall off my bike, I trip up stairs, I go from running to flat on my face.

This has been diagnosed by medical professionals with a variety of explanations, mostly centering on anatomical structures that cause me to have…


Where is the free shipping code?

Photo by Aleksandra Tanasienko on Unsplash

9:00 AM- Check email and see new candle scents added on day 27 of sale I previously ignored. Crack knuckles, refill coffee with just more coffee, not more creamer.

9:05 AM- Read reviews of every ocean/beach/sea scented candle to ascertain none are the dreaded “mandle” and potentially smell of Girbaud jeans wearing/ Drakkar doused boys who danced at under 21-year-old nights at Narcissus nightclub until it became a Gap in 1993.

10:05 AM- Realize work meeting started five minutes ago, so regretfully leave cart. Blow it a kiss.

11:30 AM- Return to shopping cart. See ominous “Some items in your…


Fashion Trends

And people, it still fits.

Photo by Burgess Milner on Unsplash

I keep stuff.

As a child, I hung out with my grandmother who survived the 1918 flu pandemic, the Bread and Roses Strike, two World Wars, the Depression, and maybe more impressive given those circumstances — Prohibition. I learned keeping things was a survival skill. If you saved stuff, you, or someone you loved, had it when they needed it.

Usually I keep items with a direct connection to family. But I do have some clothing and accessories of my own that are older than this century, because I suspected they would eventually be back in style.

Realistically, though, even…


My long-empty baby apartment has a mind of its own

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

My stomach often moves in a different direction than the rest of my torso. It has an adipose will of its own. I spent most of my life sucking or strapping it in, to no avail.

I am not self-flagellating. I now accept my stomach in all its doughy glory.

Years before I had kids, people would ask me when I was due. I would grit my teeth, and try not to cry, as I explained that I wasn’t pregnant.

I’d make jokes about it being a Budweiser baby, or say that the rest of me was just so thin…


Pets

Don’t make me tell you this to your face

author photo

I hope that you love your dog. You should.

Your dog is part of your household. You live, eat and sleep under the same roof. You spend countless hours together. You are family.

I get how adored a pet can be.

I had a rabbit who we adopted from someone who didn’t have enough time to care for it. I am forever grateful to him, for giving the bunny up. That rabbit lived for a decade, delighting us with his leaps, and his love. We sobbed when he died.

We had many fish. Some lived for several years. We cared…


Satire

Sunrise yoga for dragons, dogs and social media

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Our new coffee shop is excited to announce that we opened by a body of water so we could offer sunrise yoga, then Instagram pictures of it, and sell coffee, of course.

Disclaimer: Your attendance at sunrise yoga implies that we may use your image on all promotional materials, especially Instagram.

One week later:

Our new coffee shop, located by a body of water so we could offer sunrise yoga and take photos of it to post to Instagram, is excited to announce that we will enhance sunrise yoga by allowing you to bring your pet. We ask that your…


Fantasies of a runner dealing with crosswalk violators

Photo by Joshua Olsen on Unsplash

The pandemic made some of us better people, and some of us worse people, but most drivers stayed terrible. When it comes to sharing the road with pedestrians, people have a lot of room for improvement.

As any runner who takes to the streets knows, defensive running is the only way to survive. Loose dogs, cobblestones, tree roots, and road construction aside, one of the biggest threats to us is how freaking badly people drive. Getting to a trail, or park may still require crossing busy roads.

I only have the experience of running in densely populated areas in Massachusetts…


Should you even be running in the heat?

Photo by Jefferson Sees on Unsplash

At 6:43 am this morning, it was already above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity was at 60% and the dew point was at 71. The running feature on the Weather Channel app advised that conditions were “tough,” and not looking any better until tomorrow night at 7 pm.

I went for a run anyway.

But I carefully consider whether it is safe to do so each time this weather hits. I am a freckle-covered, medically overweight runner who has had enough benign skin cancer removed to suspect there is a clone of me in a lab somewhere. I wilt in…

Stacey Curran

Teacher, runner, former journalist; few N.E. Press Assoc. Awards, few Boston Globe essays, few Medium sites, few anthologies, few poems, so many grocery lists.

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