This very ear­ly morn­ing run start­ed off with an inky black-blue night so star­tling­ly clear that the wan­ing Cres­cent moon and stars shown white-bright, which made me real­ize how lucky I am not to be in Chica­go with its sky, clot­ted with juandiced-orange clouds that don’t so much hang in the sky as appear stuck like chew­ing gum under­neath a school desk.

On the trail that I jog, the frogs had start­ed mov­ing but had­n’t quite warmed up enough to make any quick jumps so they wait­ed on the sides of the trail, like mute yet encour­ag­ing spec­ta­tors that only asked not to be squished by an errant sneaker.

My run takes me past sev­er­al horse pas­tures and barns. Either I find the hors­es are way out in the pas­ture or they are wedged right into the cor­ner of the fence where I have to run by. I don’t know what to make of it or what they make of me. I do know that, gen­er­al­ly, hors­es always seem way more qui­et and stealthy than any­thing that big should rea­son­ably be. These hors­es remind me of peo­ple you can have a cup of cof­fee with, sit­ting in some dingy din­ner at 4:30 in the morn­ing, feel­ing nei­ther com­pelled to talk or to atten­tive­ly lis­ten but just sit and feel the moment when it’s not quite the end of anoth­er day nor the begin­ning of a new one. (I know this moment well but it was­n’t spent in Hem­ing­way-esque cof­fee dives, but learned dur­ing res­i­den­cy when you hit three in the morn­ing and can feel—or rather hope—things are going to slow down but invari­ably your team is called down to the ER again for yet anoth­er admis­sion and so anoth­er inter­minable hour or so is spent in pur­ga­to­ry and there is noth­ing to do, but hope that even the ER res­i­dents are get­ting tired at four in the morn­ing and have final­ly decid­ed to hold admis­sions for the fresh med­ical teams com­ing in the morn­ing, which real­ly means that you can sit for a few moments and let the sticky sweat from a long night of con­stant motion final­ly cool and con­geal on you, before your team forms up for morn­ing rounds and do the rest of the day’s work in order to get ready to present to your attend­ing in the after­noon, after they have fin­ished their own clin­ics. If you are lucky, you will round for only two hours and then walk out into the evening air around sev­en and find your car and dri­ve very intent­ly and care­ful­ly and not crash your car into your apart­men­t’s assigned park­ing spot and go up and open your door and peel off your scrubs, eat and lux­u­ri­ate in a hot show­er before hav­ing to do it again in a few days.)

And lat­er in the morn­ing, dri­ving to work, I make a men­tal note that Car­oli­na Blue is actu­al­ly the col­or of the sky here. (Real­ly. When I first got here I kept think­ing there was some­thing wrong with my eyes because the blue seemed tech­ni­col­or-ed and I then real­ized that most peo­ple here did­n’t notice or weren’t par­tic­u­lar impressed, because they’d grown up with it all their lives) and Car­oli­na Blue’s accom­pa­ny­ing white col­or match­es the starched-white cumu­lus clouds (think puffy cot­ton clouds that are ridicu­lous­ly puffy. So piled on that some­times these clouds seem to be a put-on, mock­ing the idea of a puffy clouds, sort of like “My Lit­tle Pony” sub­verts the idea of cute ponies by being impos­si­bly more cute, ie I’d put Car­oli­na clouds up against any oth­er state’s clouds [even Indi­ana’s, mom] and it’d just be no contest.)

I had a point to this. I think. It’s been a long week for me and a lot of peo­ple I know. Oh well, enjoy the picture.