Peter takes one last sip of the still barely hot coffee, sighs and stands. The sky seems as dark as the coffee. It isn’t the earliness of the hour that causes his antipathy. He likes this time of day. In the twilight of dawn and dusk, he feels less of a misfit.
Slipping quickly out of his condo in order to keep Alice away from the tom next door, Peter begins walking at a brisk pace. When he reaches the road, he breaks into a slow run. He’d decided not to fuss with the new Garmin resting next to his coffee mug on the kitchen counter.
Looking around, he determines he is alone on his dimly-lit street. His figure casts only a faint shadow. A flicker to his right startles him; the grass rustles as a vole runs into its burrow. Because he is color blind, Peter often picks up slight animal and bird movements others miss.
He lets the vole make the choice for him of where to run and heads toward the park. Three months ago, he’d turned 35 and admitted he needed to start to exercise. A sedentary job and some elevated blood pressure readings made health a recent concern.
Running seemed an obvious choice; solitary, it required only sneakers (or, so he thought initially, before well-meaning friends began to press all kinds of gadgets and gear upon him) and would take him out of doors. This was preferable to a dank gym or some sort of team sport where his less-than-outstanding athletic abilities would be displayed.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t loving it. While pleased with the way his clothes had become looser, he felt something lacking in running. Perhaps he’d underestimated how long it might take to become an enthusiast. “Believe in the Run,” reads the wristband on his left hand. And he wants to.
Faith is not a problem. Peter often equates being color blind with having faith. Sure, he sees some colors, but not the way others do, at least, as best he can tell. Still, he believes in colors, in breath-taking sunrises, and stunning flowers.
Thinking of flowers, Peter suddenly stops mid-step to stare at the grass alongside the road. He blinks rapidly, shakes his head, then rubs his eyes. Leaning over, he touches a flower. It was like no flower he’d ever seen before. As quickly as he saw it, the color fades.
As the world subsides to it normal muted hues, Peter continues on his run, only to stop short almost immediately. Again, he’s seeing colors as he’s never before experienced. Experimenting along his running route, he realizes that as long as he’s running, he can see colors. And they are even more glorious than he ever imagined.
Bounding through his front door, Peter announces: “Alice, I just had the most peculiar experience!”
“All that fuss about colors,” Alice replied, reclining on the sofa. “Still, I had to do something to get you to keep running, now, didn’t I?”