Running fast, flat out, is the best feeling on earth.
When I run my legs are big pistons driving my feet against the ground. My heart sticks up into my throat and beats against my chest. My face drips sweat and my nose burns. Sometimes I think if could get just a little more speed, lift myself just a little higher off the ground, I’d up and fly. I know it.
All the other kids bring their bikes out to Richards Field. It’s not that I don’t have one, I do. I’d rather run. Last summer Nate learned from his brother how to put a baseball card in the wheel. Now everyone’s done it. You tie it right across the fork and it sort’ve pops till you’re going fast. Then it hums, like you’re riding a motorcycle.
The field is two blocks over from my house. It’s a real airfield, or at least it used to be, back before there were jets and all. Just one big flat grassy field where planes would land. No control tower or even a radio. There wasn’t so many planes back then, so nobody must have minded much.
There’s even a pole for where the windsock used to be. It’s lying right out in the middle of the field, split in two. If you roll it just right, there’s all kinds of bugs and worms underneath. But that’s Richards field, all bugs and grass and hitchhikers that stick into your socks and hair. They’ll itch if they don’t hurt. Spiders too.
You can find things in Richard’s Field. Old rusted bolts and bits of metal. Nothing big, just little things from the planes. Maybe a lock-nut, or a retaining screw, or some of piece of bailing wire. I’ll pick them up sometimes and wonder where they’ve been.
When I’m running out in Richards Field and no one is around, sometimes I’ll start humming, real loud-like. Maybe it’s not that I’m running too slow, maybe it’s the sound. Maybe that’s why I’m not flying. Sure, I’ve got plenty of baseball cards. I do. But when I’m running, there is nothing to attach them to.