Just after sunrise. I’m running along the Pacific Ocean. The light has turned the water gold. The waves are lapping the rocks and the seagrass is blowing in the cool breeze. I’m just north of the airport, so every now and then I see one take off or land and the sound of the engines breaks through Kanye West on the iPod.
I woke up feeling sore and sick, but being out in the fresh air is doing me right and it’s all pretty spectacular. I’m looking pretty darn cute for 6:30 a.m. The hotel has provided me a lovely little map of the route and I’m looking forward to the bellhops’ outstretched towel and water bottle upon my return. I’m congratulating myself for getting out and feeling pretty lucky for being here out in the hazy yellow sunshine. Life is good. I round a little lagoon and come to an Asian-inspired wooden footbridge that spans the lagoon.
And that’s where I come face to face with the skunk.
I think I made little cartoon smoke clouds, I stopped so fast. So did he.
I haven’t been that close to a skunk since crazy Mrs. Stevens used to bring Sofie into the pharmacy and I used to walk around with her in my arms while I filled prescriptions. But this was not Sofie the tame skunk.
Luckily the “more scared of you than you are of it” rule held, and he turned around and scooted back over the bridge and down into the bushes. But to someone far enough away not to have seen him, I must have looked awful funny running, screeching to a halt, edging my way over the bridge as far from his side as I could, and then breaking into a sprint as soon as I was over.
I was going to warn the next runner I saw, but I didn’t think he would’ve believed me.