This morning at 4:50 a.m. as I turned the corner to head up to the track, a ball of fury flew at me and was barking and growling in the most menacing and scary way. I stood stock still hoping this dog wouldn't start tearing me apart. After what seemed like a long time, but was probably less than a minute, its owner (with a flashlight and a very soft voice for the owner of such a vicious mutt) approached and called off her dog. She didn't apologize for nearly scaring the living daylights out of me, she didn't latch a leash on her charge, and she didn't answer back when I yelled, "That dog belongs on a leash".
I finished my walk up through the parking lot of the school with my heart still racing so fast I probably didn't need to run to get my cardio workout; when a little cat came darting across my path and I nearly passed out. At the track as I stretched and tried to calm the fluttering in my chest, I could hear laughter and the noise of a bunch of kids climbing the chain link fence at the other end of the track. Then I remembered it was the morning after high school graduation, historically that means "Strangeness at the Track".
Last year there was a large group of kids just sitting on the track in a big circle with loads of snack food wrappers and soda cans they apparently had indulged in a junk food orgy all night. The year before that, I arrived at the track to see a row of sleeping bags on the football field. As I jogged, there was no movement in those bags until the sprinklers came on, then five or six boys emerged and started dragging their belongings out of range of the water. They dispersed pretty quickly except for one who couldn't locate his keys. Feeling sorry for him, I took a break from running and helped him in his search. We did find the keys in the soggy grass and I went home soaking wet that morning. The year before that, there were about 25 sleeping bags lined up on the track and during my 45 minute run, no one stirred and I just ran in the outside lane and jumped over shoes and clothes laying in my path.
So this morning when I heard the sound of happy graduates, I didn't think too much about it as I started my first lap. It was pretty dark at the west end zone so those boys must not have seen me coming and they were making so much noise they certainly didn't hear me so I really gave them a shock when I rounded the corner and found five young men stripped down to their nothings preparing to race. They were so shocked to have me pass them in that state, they all fell silent. When I was a about fifty feet down the track, they all started laughing and I could hear the sounds of them climbing back over the fence. By the next lap, there wasn't a single boy (dressed or naked) in sight. I finished my laps and made my way home wondering what the rest of this strange day was going to bring.