Smokers’ Solidarity & the Cult of Runners

Hello darlings,

Let me begin this first blogpost by stating that I am not a smoker. Frankly, when I’m stressed,  it’s just not the first thing I think to do. Snacking on cookies, burning incense and painting nails (yah!) is more my detox style. And you know, even though I’ve gotten used to singing the wretched winter blues here in Boston, ain’t no way I’m going outside for a smoke on the balcony to have my cigarette ashes mingle with the snowflakes, and bitterly envy all the hibernating animals. Not happening.

Now come summertime — with a kissable tan, winks on the dance floor, lots of grooving and a cool evening, I may say, “Well, go on ahead with yo’ bad self, lil Kyky~ pick up some menthols!” And it was in admitting this to myself that I had a convo. with a girlfriend I’ll call Nadia about the solidarity of cigarette sharing. Chatting one morning in her Harlem apartment over a bodacious breakfast (as we are wont to do), she aksed, “Ever notice in Harlem how someone who shouts out across the street for a light will be beckoned by another cat on the corner who’s puffing away? That is serious, girl!In the cold?!” It was a good point. And if that someone is a woman? It’s a wrappp.

Truly. I wonder how many conversations have  started up, how many numbers have been exchanged because a cute dame asked a strapping fellow for a light, or a cigarette and a light? Who hasn’t smiled when they saw a woman and her girlfriend pass by a group of men smoking, and watched one of them start up a conversation with 6 dudes because 1 of them was cute? The women stand together — cool as cucumbers, just shooting the breeze and laughing between lipstick smiles. And even if the two groups never meet again, there’s something poignant that happens in that moment. A 7 minute cigarette shared in the biting cold, or on steaming sidewalks in summer heat,  with someone who offered you a light?  Now that’s intimacy.

Same thing with running. My roommate, I’ll call her Heidi for various reasons, is a hardcore long distance runner. Like this xxhardcorex. She runs 3-5 times a week, and has been training me to get ready for marathons. (Referring of course, to the 5 miles she suggests we run together). One thing she always mentions as a running highlight is passing another runner and without saying a word, exchanging the Runner’s Nod. It’s subtle. No speech is exchanged, maybe no smile, but a quick bob of the head, totally in stride as if to say, “I see you doing your running thing. Stay strong.”

Heidi explains that any runner who avoids eye contact or makes no acknowledgement of another runner is either a newbie to running or a jerk. Or possibly both. Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to this moment since she told me about it. And sure enough, today on a morning run, I passed a runner. With strides like a gazelle, he turned his head once to the left to check for traffic, his neon yellow long-sleeve billowing in the snappy, morning wind. As he moved toward me on the sidewalk, I smiled, gasping between breaths, and he almost glided by me without a word. Almost. And then, right before he galloped out of my line of vision, there it was. The silent head nod. Just once, but enough to indicate that I’d been seen, and could call myself part of the Runner’s Cult.

And if there’s one thing I love, it’s pulling off gloves outside and seeing my poppy nail polish on a gray morning. Featured above with my chic, black running shoes, you’ll see the orangey-reddish sparkle colour “So Poppy” by Sally Hanson and the lavender “Nagellack” by Sally Girl. Sally Hanson is great because it’s fairly long-lasting, doesn’t chip too easily and comes in lots of sparkle options. I LOVE the baby bottle of Sally Girl because you can pop a few in your bag, and have nail polish options while traveling. Woop woop for style changes on the go.

So cheers to solidarity & cults. And as always, to Knowledge & Nail Polish.

til the next time polish puppies,
xox keepthisfunky.

2 thoughts on “Smokers’ Solidarity & the Cult of Runners

  1. Welcome to the Runner’s Cult. We’ve been waiting for you.

    To end on a not creepy note, nice post! Your words remind me of colours.

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