9 miles, 1:24:19
Last summer while on a long run, my DH and I caught a shocking sight out of the corner of our eyes; a body. I remember the instant feeling of dread that washed over me as I slowed down and got closer to the body. It was a female, laying face down in the dirt behind a small (2 ft) wall on the side of the road. We took tentative, silent steps toward her, scanning for any sign of life, but there was no movement at all. In fact, as we got closer, we saw flies circling around her, and we feared the worst. I called 911, and within minutes an office pulled up along side the trail. We were standing back from her now, still watching for movement, and we waved the officer over to her.
“Well, that doesn’t look good,” he said, walking up to her. He nudged her a few times and finally, thankfully, she stirred.
I breathed a sigh of relief; we asked the officer if we could leave (and by the way, that had been an AWESOME run up until that point), and he waved us along. Our pace as quick as we high-tailed it home, grateful to not be one of “those” poor early-morning runners who find a dead body. Later I found out that the woman had been on meth, was trying to get “home,” when she decided to take a nap, and once she convinced the officer she was able to walk, was released on the spot, I guess left to wander the neighborhood? Nice.
So today, once again, very close to the same spot as before, we came upon a body. This time we didn’t get close; the body appeared to be a male, and was laying across the trail with his back to us, in the shadows of a freeway overpass. We couldn’t tell if he was awake, if he had a weapon, nothing. Only that he wasn’t moving. My DH called 311 this time, not wanting to overreact, after all not all dead bodies turn out to be dead. They transferred him to 911 anyways.
In the meantime two walkers came up the trail toward the body; I could see them approach him (the body was actually facing them), and bend over to see if he was alright. He finally started moving, information that I relayed to my DH. Then they left him and walked over to me; one was a nurse and said that the man had a medical ID bracelet. The walkers left, and we waited for the officer to arrive. The man sat up as the officer approached; we walked over to let the officer know it was us who called. The man denied having a medical bracelet, but I told the officer that was what the walker told us. The officer made the man show his wrists; there was a hospital bracelet. And then the man’s story began; the officer waived us off, and we trotted off.
I remember that the other body, the woman, looked like a mess. She was covered in dirt, her hair in tangles, just what you might expect someone recovering from a meth-bender might look like. But today, this man, he was different. His hair was in dreadlocks, but his face, upon closer inspection, was perfectly clean shaven. His clothes were a little mussed up (from sleeping on the pavement) but otherwise clean. In fact, for the brief moment I heard him speaking, I would almost conclude that his story was more about emotional drama (maybe his girlfriend dumped him). Did we do the right thing, calling the police? Well, if you want attention, lay across a running path like a dead body, and you’ll get it. I suspect he wanted the attention. My husband was less impressed.
“We gotta find somewhere else to run,” my DH muttered.