ALWAYS PEE BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE. I reminded myself of this important bit of personal necessity before departing on my morning walk. It was 5 AM and the temperature had dipped into the high thirties, but I was layered up good. The route I chose was uphill almost immediately and the condensation from my breath settled into my beard as if I’d walked into a wet spray. Then, turning left as I exited the subdivision, I committed to a three-mile trek. A few cars were out, but traffic was light that early in the morning. My mind-over-matter approach took control to keep me from focusing on distractions like my stomach growling, my knee wincing, or the demurs of my lower back. My head settled into an evolving olio of miscellanea that kept up a steady flow well beyond my halfway point. It was like Annie Dillard wrote of “the mind’s muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash.” Everything from song tunes to soup recipes, old friends to new fantasies, memories to mishigas, it kept coming, and then eventually I took another left and was on the final stretch. As I re-entered my subdivision, I felt safe beginning to consider the bowl of cream of wheat that I envisioned, complete with fresh blueberries. Accompanied, naturally, by a steaming mug of Columbian Supremo.