This is a remake of Salsoul Orchestra’s 1977 disco hit. I remember being in the car the first time I heard this. My mother got excited and instantly liked it because she remembered the original. My mother was a member of Columbia House-where you ordered CD’s in the mail-and she played it repeatedly for about a week. I haven’t thought much about this song since 1997.

About three weeks ago “Runaway” popped into my head as I drove home from the barber shop. I get my hair cut my too far away from where I went to middle school in Queens. Just hearing the song while seeing the various people walking about in the most diverse zip code on the planet made me think about the time in my life when I was over here everyday. I was just a kid who was first getting to venture out into the world on my own unsure of what life had in store for me. Eighteen years and several lifetimes later, I wondered what would I tell eleven year old Chad Milner.

“Shit is gonna get real. Enjoy the journey becoming me. Don’t run from anything.”

The song is bittersweet. It’s a bright disco record as Puerto Rican freestyle legend India sings about wanting to escape before it’s too late. This is the opposite of everything I stand for; but wish that I could.

It’s safe to say that I don’t run from anything. I don’t like confrontation; but when that or adverse moments come up, I don’t get scared and turn in the other direction. That’s for pussies. Sure, there are times when one should retreat but they’re don’t occur often.

Honestly, I get very calm when shit gets real. I do the best that I can to not let my emotions take over during said times because while everyone else is reacting, I want to keep a calm mind, body, and spirit so that I can respond. Responding means thinking something through; being logical and calculated. You’ll often hear people who react in times like this later apologize if they aren’t stubborn or prideful and justify their actions. Responding means coming up with a plan and one is aware of what they’re doing or how they maneuver…with the exception of offending someone, there’s no need to be apologetic.

With all that had transpired in my mid-twenties, I made a choice to be fearless and it has been beyond freeing. You just see love differently. I am still an extremely shy person who over thinks everything; but eventually I just go for whatever.

There’s no need to be angry, hold grudges, or whatever. Life is too short for that shit and by the time most people realize this, they have by far lived more years than they have left. That was one of-if not-the most valuable lesson I could have ever learned. It makes me think of my eighty-eight year old grandmother who sits at home all day and watches the Game Show Network. Every time I see her she has the attitude of “I’m just happy to be here.” It isn’t until you lose something or someone close to you that the mindset of “tomorrow is not promised” is no longer an ideology; but applicable knowledge.

There are many days I want to run away from my life. I haven’t had a vacation or a full weekend off from parenting duties in almost two and a half years. There are days I just can’t take Cydney asking me any more questions or any of the other shit that she does…I just want to say “Fuck it” all, just pick up and go without all of the negotiations, and the bullshit that makes freedom be something I covet because it doesn’t really exist.

But I’m not a runner.

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