Stay Safe, Dave

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Dave. His name is Dave.

I forgot about Dave. We met last summer when we were both working the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon pulling the very early, very cold and very foggy shift at the Legion of Honor. He was a motorcycle police officer and I was behind a video camera. He rumbled past me on his drive-bys, occasionally stopping to chat. Before the event started he asked me if I wanted a coffee. Perhaps my shivering was a telltale sign. He left and came back shortly with a cappuccino and a scone. At that moment it was a warm reminder of our humanity but time passes and the memory faded and was lost.

Until this day. This time we were both working the Kaiser Half Marathon. I was flagging down an approaching motorcycle officer to ask a question and recognized him immediately when he stopped.

"Remember me? Escape From Alcatraz? You got me a coffee. I'm Laura."

I gave him an enthusiastic hug. It was a spontaneous gesture, done without considering the wisdom of hugging an armed on-duty police officer. He looked a bit shocked. I'm sure he wasn't expecting to have
this strange woman throwing herself at him. Then he recognized me, too.


"Dave," he shook my hand. "Right! Legion of Honor. I carried the coffees right here." He tapped the storage box on his motorcycle.

We reminisced for a few minutes then he answered my race-related questions. I couldn't stop smiling. I thanked him again for his earlier kindness and we parted ways once more.

I don't know why I was so thrilled to see him. I think I was just glad to know he was okay. In his line of work tomorrow is not a guarantee, not that it is for any of us really, but it would seem that particular
unknown is more tangibly a part of his life than it is for most of us.

I forgot him the first time we met. I won't for the second.

Be safe, Dave.

With a Perspective, I'm Laura Bello.

Laura Bello is an ultra runner and works in Facilities Management at UC, San Francisco.