My last training run in preparation for a half-marathon this weekend.
To get 12 miles, I run three times around a square-mile in my neighborhood.
The first leg heads east down Division St., at 5:45 a.m., toward a lightening but still dark blue sky.
Dunkin' Donuts is open but empty. Zakopane Polish bar isn't open yet. My local greasy spoon Uncle Mike's has only one customer.
It's 6:15 as I come around to Western Avenue, a man is going to work at the 101-year-old headstone maker, the Venetian Monument Co., a reminder of the unceasing urgency of that.
At Chicago Ave., the resident panhandler, a woman with a missing index finger, is sleeping the sleep of angels in a doorway. On a bench nearby, an old woman sleeps with her face down in her own lap.
The second time around the sky is pale blue. Forty minutes later, the panhandler has rolled over and the old woman is still snoozing with herself for a pillow.
I start my third and last lap around at 7:10. I'm running straight into the sun, and I cock my hat down over my eyes.
Zakopane is open. Construction guys are having their last peaceful cigarettes before starting their jobs. The tombstone carver is hard at work. Uncle Mike's is still almost empty, which worries me, and I vow to go there more often.
The panhandler is up and stretching her legs.
The lap-snoozer is upright, and appears to be trying to figure out what to do next. Staggering past her, I think I know how she feels.