Memoir: The Runner


Parrish Cormier

Inspired by Jack Kerouac

But they soared high above me, and I struggled to see them through the almost opaque gray clouds. But once I did, I couldn’t look away because the only people for me are the wild ones, fierce, and unafraid of what life has to offer. They don’t sit and wait for chance to catch up. They race it to the finish line, defeating it, breaking the bright red ribbon beyond repair and reaching higher and higher towards the breathtaking gold medal.

They ascend, ascend, ascend without glancing to see how far the grass is below them or how high the sun is above them. They explode upward because, to them, there are no barriers, no ceiling that is strong enough to hold them down, no obstacle worth their attention, no way but up.

She stood out so evidently in the classroom her peers could see her mind gears running as she calculated numbers and variables. She explained her reasoning behind the complex answers with such confidence and knowing, her mind completely free, jumping over every word and phrase fast. She reads a new book every day, Delirium, Divergent, Drowning, unable to put them down. Her eyes battle each other to the end of each page, begging her to turn the page faster. First it’s Edgar Allen Poe then Sarah Dessen. It didn’t matter to her as long as her imagination could be sprinting around behind her dark brown eyes. Her body is exhausted but her mind refuses to stop running.

All my other friends were materialistic: Greta Holland, the gossip missionary scrambling to take command of her own life; Jessica Nelson and her passion for spending unimaginable amounts of money on unnecessarily expensive bijouterie; and, finally, Francesca Minka who can’t seem to look up from her phone long enough to appreciate what’s right in front of her.