My phone comes to life in the early dark of our bedroom and I swim from sleep to chase it around the nightstand one clumsy hand outstretched fingers trying to work that goddamned slider eyes adjusting mini-camera shutters opening wide in the gloom and here is what I’m supposed to do, I’m supposed to get up pull on running tights scrape oily hair under my battered Nike hat clip on my iPod lace up my shoes and the thought of all that sends me falling into the pillow dropping back into a drowsy fugue and no, I guess there will be no running this morning. Ten hours later I think how if I’d gone ten hours ago I’d have been done for ten hours now.

A year and a half ago I ran 26.2 miles, today I’ve forgotten all the machinations of running and after one solitary mile my brain pulls itself up to a glowing keyboard, cracks its knuckles, begins composing an increasingly agitated message to my body that ends with an all-caps instruction to STOP RIGHT FUCKING NOW and so I do, I walk and pant and I cannot remember how I managed to keep going, once upon a time. I have lost a sense of momentum. The less I move the harder it is to begin moving the more it makes me want to be still. I am pulling inwards while my body expands outwards and I know where this goes, it goes nowhere good, and I am trying to stop it but shh, shh, right now I just want to be still.

Shh I say shh baby I’ll play with you in a minute right now I have to finish my work and this is how it goes all morning long while the TV burbles and chirps and my son learns to amuse himself and the couch forms a deep curve under me as my laptop burns through my legs and the hours days weeks months pass tick tock tick tock.

Where are you going?

I am going nowhere.

Are you okay with that?

Not really.

What are you going to do about it?


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