I slept on a large chair Thursday night. It wasn't bad, but a little uncomfortable. When Jason got up for the morning I took the opportunity to make my way to the couch. A few minutes later Fortenberry yelled "Craig, get of bed and let's go!" I informed him I wasn't going anywhere unless he told me where. He said breakfast and I was up quite quickly.
The mission for the morning was to go to the head deacon's house to take care of church business; namely, the drafting of a resignation letter by Fortenberry to his church to be delivered the next Sunday morning. The byproduct of the morning was meeting the first of many people on the trip that falls into the category "salt of the earth."
The couple's house is located on a farm. Horses. Hay. All that jazz. The wife is an award winning rodeo senior rodeo champion. She made us some of the best homemade biscuits with gravy I've ever put in my mouth.
After a couple of hours visiting with them we headed back to Fortenberry's. He and Jason then went swimming at the home of a family in the church where, apparently, Jason was chided for reading the Demonic Wizard book, Harry Potter. The dad of the family stopped his game of Dungeons and Dragons to preach the dangers of the Kid Wizard.
Not wanting vacation to be an excuse to let my running go, I decided to stay back and go for a run. Running in a strange town in the middle of the day was a new experience for me.
I think every place has a soul. Maybe not a literal soul (are souls literal?) But a soul nonetheless. Rhythms. Rituals. Personality.
They rhythms of Merryville, La.: Slow but deliberate.
I ran by a nursing home and wondered at the lives inside. Were they waiting for someone? Were they taken to this place to be put away from or brought nearer to family?
I ran by a museum. Yes, a museum in this little Mayberry of a town. I wondered if anyone other than Merryvillians had desires to visit the Merryville museum.
I ran over a bridge and wondered if this is where I would die. On a bridge in the forest, run over by the continuous train of logging trucks zooming by. I'm not a fast runner, but I ran fast over the bridge.
I ran halfway down a road until I heard the dogs barking, then I turned around. I thought about how my grandmother's favorite thing to tell my friends, no matter if the moment merited it, was how I was terrified of dogs when I was a kid. I realized that Merryville is Carthage, just further south.
I ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours. I then said I was pretty tired, I think I'll go home now.
Oh, wait, that last thing was from Forest Gump.
I'm not sure how far I ran, but it was probably around four miles.