Journey to the End of the Night: a citywide game of tag, essentially. Last month, Journey decided to coincide with Halloween. What a perfect, perfect combination. Like lime juice and vodka.
I was running late, coming from an early party on the peninsula. I was sure I’d get there far too late to take part, and I was resolved to sneak ahead of the crowd to take fabulous pics with my new lens and tripod.
God bless light traffic. I made it just in time to sign one of the last few waivers and pick up my yellow armband. As a Runner, I only managed to take 1 fast snapshot:
Our sideshow, with ringmaster, bearded lady, and Rosie, just ’cause. The clown took the photo, and we lost the geek.
This was my first Journey, and my first task with sf0. 600 Runners met in Justin Herman Plaza, and all but a handful of us were in fabulous costume. A few silly (but gorgeous) women even decided to Run in high heels. They counted us down, we took off like a shot. Okay, most people did. My group sort of wandered off in the right general direction. We were plenty nonchalant, chatting about how cool we were going to be through this whole deal, until the first chaser found us and we scattered like pigeons peeing in their pantaloons.
It felt like a happy, safer version of a real zombie invasion. Running through a holiday-crazed city, a Chaser lurking behind every wolfman mask and painted face… I was hyper-alert, at least until my energy flagged and Wesley Crusher caught me while running in circles around a parked limo. I was known as the eagle-eye in my group, catching sight of orange armbands in plenty of time to duck behind dumpsters. We evaded, rather than sprinted. I found myself saying things like, “It’s quiet. Too quiet.”
From start to finish, we met up with some amazing comrades-in-arms. A woman studying parkour. I never did see her at the end, though I really believed she’d make it. Howard Stern ran with us in the beginning. A zombie lurching into light poles as blood poured from his mouth distracted me at a muni station. And civilians at every bar we stopped at (there were a few) were fascinated. Digits were got.
Just… the most fun… ever. sf0 just took my favorite holiday and made it even better. And I am proud, privileged, and tickled pink to have had the honor of serving with my fellow Runners.
Oh, and the Carnival Folk rule! The Clown won Best Chaser, and the Ringmaster won Best Costume!
Pigeons in pantaloons. That is something I want to see.