The hardest part of morning is getting from the bedroom to the toilet. Once that's done, a five-mile run up River Drive is nothing. After a year or more of morning jogs, the muscles don't complain. It's the brain and the bladder, those parts least involved, which would rather keep to the warm pile of blankets currently littering the bed.
But the call of the geese from the river top has already gotten into the blood. It's spring, damn it. Not winter. The cycles of life in Passaic play havoc with the soul. One barely survives the cold wind thundering at the walls, hands preying back the poorly painted planks. Even in the shower with hot water on full you can feel its touch.
Yet now, the mullberries and the willows have already stretched their arms out across the water and bridge, have already extended their welcome to their winter children, young swallows, baby rats, ducklings floating in the shallows just down stream, and me, pounding out the pre-breakfast ritual as if I am really part of this scene.