05 December 2014

Running at Arifjan

This is officially a theme. Running on various U.S. mlitary bases on foreign soil is becoming a habit, as is writing about it.

As much as I dislike it, running gives me an opportunity to think and reflect. After seven months deployed, I need it. The delpoyment is coming to an end, and now I run at Camp Arifjan, in Kuwait.

The weather is nearly ideal-- slight humidity, and evening temperatures in the low 60s. I have no excuse. So I run. I run down roads with names like Patton Blvd. and Connecticut Ave. There is a street called Harms Way. I stay away from it.

The main roads are wide and well-lit, but lightly trafficked by 8:00 pm. So I run undisturbed. 

I run down the wide, well-lit, and lightly trafficked road past the main PX and the swimming pool. Past probably a lot of headquarters buildings, toward the sound of helicopters. I turn right and run on gravel and dust through construction areas. The Camp is big and has obviously seen busier days. Now at the conclusion of two large wars, they still build. 

I run past container yards under a full moon. I run through an empty lot and have to turn around when I find myself fenced in. I run alongside a shuttle for a while, thinking it's a race, until it slowly pulls ahead. 

As is my habit, I run while listening to an audio book. Tonight is Live by Night by Dennis Lehane. My battery fails about a mile and a half into my circuit, and I contemplate returning for a fresh one. Instead I take the opportunity to notice more and think more.

I am glad I do. Everything feels calmer here. Almost healing. Maybe the Kuwaiti air is cleaner than I have been used to since May. Maybe it's the psychological effect of knowing there won't be a rocket incoming anytime soon. Maybe I'm in better shape than ever. Maybe I am just excited to be home soon.

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