From the moment I woke up, all I could think of was getting through the day so I could get to sleep that night. To help burn off some frustration and energy, I got dressed and went for a run. I headed down the cross street over to Central Park and began running my usual route at an easy pace. In contrast to the brief warm spell of the day before, that day was cold and clear. As I ran, I admired the beautiful leaves that remained on the branches of the magnolia trees.
I was about 200 yards from the Bethesda Fountain near the lake in Central Park. I always loved looking at the statue in the middle, the magnificent Angel of the Waters, which supposedly blessed New York's water supply. The fountain offered seating around its perimeter for passersby who might not be bothered by an occasional misting from some windblown water. At that time of the year, few people took advantage of the resting spot.
However, one person was there, and I was pretty sure I'd seen him before. I stopped dead in my tracks when I got the confirming chill of recognition. It was the creepy stranger from the dream workshop, still wearing the same gray clothes and black baseball cap. My heart raced faster than it had when I was running, and I noticed a sweat covering my skin that had not been apparent before.
“Not that unusual,” I said out loud, trying to avoid panicking, “I've run into people from other parts of my life while jogging in Central Park; it's a common place to be.” My rationalization wasn't working, ...