We park the car and walk toward the Willamette river. We buy wooden tokens, enough for several tastes of the best microbrew beers I've ever had. We meet friends underneath the tents, and wander about experiencing the thrill of discovery. The sun and suds make for a hazy, buzzed feeling that permeates the hot, sweaty tent. I've probably had the equivalent of three or four beers. The strong kind. We melt in the summer heat, drinking more beer to stay cool, the effervescent bubbles going straight to our heads.
Dusk settles, and the temperature drops to a more forgiving 83 degrees. We head out in search of Mexican food and, of course, more beer. We eat slow cooked pork carnitas, rice, beans, and handmade tortillas, washing each delicious bite down with our favorite IPA. We talk and laugh, discuss intense topics, and wax philosophical. The night is warm, young, and vibrant. We decide to head out towards Mt. Tabor park to catch a spectacular view of our city.
The crescent moon hangs brightly, big and yellow against the pitch black night sky. The warm summer breeze whips through our hair languidly. There are no clouds in the expansive sky, which appears to stretch on for an eternity. I inhale deeply, the cool, fresh air filling my lungs, and exhale long and slow. This beautiful stolen moment, shared with the man I adore, is when I feel more alive than I have in years.
I can't run. My Achilles tendonitis is preventing me from doing anything remotely athletic at the moment. I have to rest, rehabilitate, and listen to my joints, bones, and muscles. I believe this is the end of the line for me - no marathon in October. It pains me to write these lines, to throw up my arms and denounce all those months of hard work. But such is life.
I'm taking my time to heal, and stopping to enjoy life while I'm at it.