Diaries Magazine

Run, Run, Run.

Posted on the 29 April 2013 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine

run, run, run.
 art by stephen campbell
As I settle into my 30s, I'm noticing little adjustments that need to be made to accommodate this new and exciting decade. For example, my anti-aging night cream is no longer a mere novelty. I actually have to use it. Limiting salt intake is also a wise adjustment, as well as alcohol (grrr). Another biggie is limiting my running, cutting down to hitting the pavement only once a week. My knees and ankles have been offering small warning signs that it's too intense for them, and that perhaps I look into another form of cardio like - don't laugh - aerobics. My mother tore her ACL in her late 30s from running and had to forgo surgery that resulted in over a year of physical therapy. To this day, she can't run or participate in high-intensity cardio.
Throwing caution to the wind, on a sunny albeit chilly Saturday morning, I treated myself to a brisk run at the Promenade Plantée, a long stretch of scenic beauty that goes from the Bois de Vincennes to Bastille. It's my favorite place in Paris to think.
On my run that turned into a brisk walk where I totally look like a suburban power walking mom, someone came from behind me. Figuring I was taking up the entire walkway, I scooted to the right to let whomever was behind me pass. Before I could process it, I felt hands run along my waist, down the sides of my hips and finally grab with both hands the juiciness that are my buns. The familiarity lead my brain to assume it was Aurélien who was surprising me by joining me on my run, but that made no sense because he had left the house at 8 am for his mysterious bachelor party organized by his friend Matthieu. I then turned to see a non-Aurélien, a young guy mid-thirties perhaps, in electric blue athletic wear breeze past me as if it was completely normal that he just felt me up. I was too stunned to respond, although my face surely spoke volumes. I was horrified. 
After the shock wore off, and not wanting to let him get away with it, I decided to chase after him. Once in my grasp I would then make an executive decision whether or not to stab him with my house keys.
The perveball knew that I was hot on his trail and ran faster and faster. I always thought I had somewhat of a good pace, but running after someone who clearly was a real runner who also didn't want to deal with confrontation was leaving me short of breath. I did my best Terminator T1000 run with flat robotic hands and wide strides but he was out running me. Once we were at the wooden bridge near avenue Ledru-Rollin, I lost him. He completely dissapeared from my sight. I looked down the promenade, no perve there, I ran down the stairs down to Avenue Daumesnil, no sight of a perve. I then went back upstairs and behind one of the large wooden planters, I found him crouching. Seriously, Sir?
At the sight of me, he pretended to start stretching to illustrate that he has not hiding for me.
"Are you really hiding behind a plant?" I said looking down at him with my house key wedged between my index and pointer finger. Geez, he might as well put on a pair of Nose Disguise Glasses.
He acted surprised that I was talking to him, almost caught off guard because he was a complete stranger and I was approaching him. My entire point exactly. He then picked himself up and brushed off the front of his blue leggings with his hands and said, "Allez-up! Sorry for le calin, I couldn't resist." And with that, he was off again. I stood there again caught off guard, with my non-menacing key in my hand, thinking what the...
This word calin is one of those words with one too many meanings. It's official definition is to cuddle, but very rarely do I hear it used in this context. Did me and this freak cuddle on the promenade? No. It's also used in sexual contexts where going off to faire un calin is code to have sex. So no, me and this guy did not have any sort of calin. Although he didn't attack me and I didn't feel threatened, having my physical space violated again is not helping me recover from my growing paranoia after the ill-fated incident in the 20th. Am I walking around Paris with like a kick-me sign on me? 
This small incident was just another warning to put out there, be aware, even during the most innocuous of activities like early morning runs because you never know what's lurking behind you...

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