nothing seems quite real in the night.
i am standing at the scorers table
i know what to do
watch the clock and blow the whistle
at the edge of the area illuminated by the light in the tent.
i have to concentrate on the flashing red numbers
to remember which which are the hours
which are the minutes
and which are the seconds.
the minutes flash to 59
and i give a single long blast on the whistle.
and then pick up a bell from the corner of the table
mechanically i go thru the countdown
as spectral figures emerge from the darkness and congregate in front of me.
i call out the final seconds counting down
while the seconds on the clock are counting up
10 when the seconds read 50
9 when they read 51
8 when they read 52….
even though this has been repeated hourly for three days
and 3 nights
it requires concentration to get it right.
when the clock jumps from 63:59:59 to 64:00:00 i ring the bell
and the spectral crowd lurches forward
stumbling and shuffling stiff legged
out into the darkness
they pass in a silent parade as i continue ringing the bell
their faces devoid of expression
am i in hell?
i am in the third night of a backyard…
hell might be designed this way
if any demon was evil enough to conceive it.
crews, race officials, runners
we all perform our routines in that netherworld of sleep deprivation
just trying to get through one hour
in order to repeat it all the next.
at the end of an endless tunnel of these groundhog hours
there will be sunrise
it is the job of the residents of this hell
to run and blow whistles and ring bells
until the light returns reality to this nightmare landscape of shadows.
i dont think there is any way to adequately describe the third night of a backyard race.
27 runners are performing this obscene dance with us here tonight
and they just left on the 65th yard.
sunlight is still 8 hours away.
i apologize for the missing updates.
i missed the first one because i was too sleep deprivation addled to write one
even though i nodded in front of my laptop trying to keep my eyes open long enough to type a coherent sentence.
hour 64 i did what had to be done after the bell
and fitted in a 40 minute nap.
i will try and finish shaking off the cobwebs and find out what is happening for you
so i can make a real update after the next start in 14 minutes…