Reblog — Normally, I don’t. Today, I did.
It is four o’clock on a Friday afternoon and I am literally running around my apartment in circles. Two weeks of Spring Break, projects and errands and expectations and ultimate procrastination, and I am already running out of ways to satisfactorily laze about my apartment. I pick up a biography on Abigail Adams, but I have no spirit for it. I haven’t had spirit for much, lately. Reality has been fragile and inconsistent, and fulfillment has evaded me for some time. There is nothing more to DO, which of course means it’s time I start on the things I am avoiding. I switch on a favorite Sondheim album, Assassins, and remind myself that I really do love America, at her core. The story, the art, the inviting folksiness of a night on the plain with a harmonica and a fire. But still, nothing quite does the trick. I get up and start bouncing around, energy building. I begin to run in circles.
If I run in my apartment, why not outside? I think.
I don’t like exercising in public. I don’t like exercising. I don’t have the right shoes. I’ll look dumb. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
Sure you can. You’re running around your apartment in circles. Go run around the block.
The whole block?
It’s just one block. Just go. Do it. Why not?
Why ever not? It’s always why not, never why. I slip on my old shoes, the ones I bought for the camp in the mountains all those lifetimes ago. Too big. of course. I wind the elastic strings tighter and bounce on my heels. I pull at my clothes, will they do? Stretchy black yoga pants. blue tank, Muppets tee, black Swedish Biniki Werewolf Destruction Unit hoodie. Best I’ll ever be able to do. I’m down the hallway. I’m out the door. I’m down the alley. I’m stretching. I start to run.
Okay, I start to jog. I am slow. Outside of a short bike ride, I have been largely inactive all winter. I have been depressed and gaining weight. I have been in these pants for days. Oh, why in hell am I doing this.
Just around the block. I can do it.
Physically, it doesn’t feel too bad. Oh shit, my pants. No, not my pants. My underwear is sliding down my ass. God fucking damn it, this underwear is going to drive me crazy.
There are more people outside than I thought would be. Are they staring at me? :Let them stare, I’m doing this because I have so much energy in my legs and I won’t run in circles in my apartment. My underwear will slide as it will. I am making it around this fucking block. I’ve already run a quarter of the way.
More people around the corner. My pants are going too. now.
Tug. Tug tug tug.
There’s the alleyway, maybe I should duck in through here, you know a half a block is just as good as a block, it’s still getting out of the house and besides your pants are falling down your underwear is falling down you are all wrong, all wrong for this go back inside–
No, I’m going around the block.
I am breathing harder now and so that feeling of dry, scratchy throat is creeping in again. I can’t quite get a breath and there’s a woman just up ahead who looks thinner than me, can she hear me breathing this hard even though it’s just around the block? My nose is running now and I’m breathing hard and I probably look silly with my pants sagging down and my underwear practically off my ass and I should really stop now and compose myself.
But I told myself I’d go round the block and it’s not that far and if this skinny woman really believes in health she would believe in me because even though I am breathing hard after running around the block, so hard that snot drips down my face and my lungs catch in my throat and I haven’t been out of the house that much because everything keeps coming apart, I believe in me and she should still believe in me because I’ve made it around the block just like I told myself I would and if that isn’t health, I don’t know what is.
I walk back inside and feel fuller and healthier and richer, and life moves a little quicker and that pain in my neck hurts a little less and the music is darker and Sondheim more brilliant and now I can sit in my apartment again and feel well.
And if that isn’t health, I don’t know what is.