It is complicated, this final turn and the run down the home stretch!
by Charlie Leck
It is here, in the turn that leads us into the home stretch, that the race gets complicated. Those ahead are squeezed in close to the rail and running like there is no tomorrow, fighting for the lead. To get into contention from an inferior position requires a fight up through the crowd ahead because there isn't left in me enough speed, energy or breath to go wide and pass the mob. So, I settle into a pace that will keep me near the pack, waiting for this turn to give way to the straight, final furlong that leads down past the grandstand filled with the cheering, scapegrace gamesters. Perhaps then I can move up a place or two and avoid the embarrassment of finishing in the antipodal position.
"As for his soul, well, he'd been having rather a bad time with it lately. A man whose friends are vanishing every day must learn to nuzzle death in order to keep his sanity -- didn't a kind of affection always take root in proximity?...
"In a vast and shifting universe, where stars glitter and die in endless night, one may choose to accept coincidence of every sort." [Alan Furst: Dark Star]