I was born on a cold September Sunday. That first night, I laced up and went down to the park and while I was going under the bridge nearby the paddle boat rental place I was jumped by a guy with a club.He didn’t want anything, the guy with the club. He just hit me again and again and again. I went down with his first strike. He kept hitting me. I felt my forearms shatter as I held them up in a futile effort to protect my face. I didn’t know what to do. I was less than a day old and I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to do. My legs were broken. My ribs were broken.
I remember, as I lie there under the bridge slipping away from my body, floating, like they say you do, up from outside your body, seeing my mangled and broken corpse on the concrete. I was so little. I turned away from the scene beneath me, and looked up toward the evening’s full moon.
I remembered the warm bath of satisfaction I felt as I pulled the laces tight on my shoes as I was going out. I remembered how much I loved the pinch of my laces against the top of my feet. I remembered how a new set of shoes added a soft but subtle spring to my step. Every time. Every time I got a new set of shoes.
I was less than a day old. These were the things I knew. New shoes. Running. Going down under the bridge. I was less than a day old. It was the first time I ever ran. I didn’t want to stop. Why should I stop?
I decided right then and there.
I was not going to let the man with the club shut me down. I strapped up a new pair of shoes. I pulled the laces tight. I felt the spring in my step. I turned and faced the moon. One step after another, I ran again. I ran on a sparkling, golden road of light.
I ran away.
And I have not stopped.