I watched a video about ultra marathoners recently. I also feel that I should do more to make it to 5,000 steps a day. I probably do more. It’s just that I have not taken the trouble to count. It would help a great deal of I did.
The first runner sped by as I waited for my morning ride underneath an umbrella and disappeared round a corner without losing a step. The second runner stumbled past me on my walk home. The trainers dragged through the dirt and squealed on the tarmac, the body leaned forward to hold up the head, the arms barely moved. The lungs snatched air into a folded chest.
The walker saw this and continued walking.
The commuter van sailed through the intersection moments before the rain started to fall. The door slid shut. I sat next to the window and watched the rain sweep the tarmac.
The engine droned. The world rushed past. The commuter van faded…..
Into a plush carpeted office with a massive transparent desk. I walked to the ceiling to floor windows. There it was. A city in the trees. A couple of high rises peeking through the canopy. Birds chirping. No sounds of traffic. I slid across the room and into my seat. I turned too fast and came close to cheek to pane….
The commuter van had stopped. It was stuck in traffic. The pane right of my head still rattled.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. I would hear it, get up, walk to the cupboard and switch it off. Just then, I would realise that I was far away from the cozy place and decide to get on with my day. I put it where I thought it should be and lay down. In the dream, I woke up and listened. I could not hear it. I checked my watch and it was two hours after when I should have woken up.
In real life, I have only heard it ring once.
You sit at the edges of the room. One of you has an ugly scratch mark. Your skin is not real leather. At least you’re clean. You are housed in a room with white walls. You get to watch a flat screen television with no sound plugged in to a hanging power extension along with the air conditioning unit that does not keep the room cool. The desk sits on the side with the window. Its occupants stroll and stride, whisper, cackle and glide away. They leave with the light and turn off the mute flat screen. Do you talk about all the people you saw and what they said or do you wait for the light?
Some walked up to the screen and then to the benches where they whiled away the time till the passengers emerged.
Some appeared just as the passengers emerged from the gate and appealed to them with gestures.
Some stared at the sky. Listening to the whine of jet engines, trying to catch a glimpse of the glint of stars through the blinding brightness of the lights twenty feet above them.
You stand on the longest side. Your gaze seems fixed. It’s actually wide. You can see me walk across the room. You see all the unseen hours when no one is in the room. You catch the happenings I couldn’t imagine that you knew. Like all the passing traffic through the gap in the curtain and the conversations on the other side of the window. Today, I saw what you could see. Just by being at the right angle a sliver of the world was before me. Yet, I remained unseen. A little like you.
… while watching the glow of the clock, listening to crickets and the scurryings at day’s end, I saw choices float through my mind’s eye. It had been a busy day. I didn’t get everything-I wanted-done. I had done what I could. So much to do better at the next day’s wake. While in this day’s wake the prickling of the day’s tensions turned sharp. The dark wasn’t dark enough. Light carried over from the neighbors and there was the glow of security lights. I wasn’t doing anything else. I saw a crack in the ceiling and breathed again moments before the music sliced through the night.
I woke up that morning to a ringing phone. It lasted all of 30 seconds then I took my a trip. I stood outside a hall and just then it hit me. I woke up today and thought of you. I saw you. I am glad you are happy. A lot more independent than I remembered. I remember someone else was younger. They are a year older today. I thought I had forever till that day. All the things, that I thought would be fell to the ground. Am I missing the best years? The decade is at an end. The ankles ache. I startle awake to clouds over a moonlit night wondering if a moment passed me by.
I had no plans. I was going no where. Not on that day at least. The weather was a bearable warm and I was watching a screen watch me during bouts of a slug fest with sleep. The ankles were tight and the right side of my back ached. The sofa seemed soft enough. I chose to stop the other watcher. For a moment, it was quiet.
I don’t recall hearing the ring. Only that I had to move. I had my street clothes on and the keys jingled in my pocket. I missed a green light because a compact car took all 15 seconds to cross the junction. I nearly missed my turn and came to realise I was on a bench at an office. A few hard blinks and zooming in from the call of of rushing traffic was what it took to get the spatial tool calibrated. Three stops later and back on the sofa, I couldn’t tell you why I left.
I saw the waxing crescent through the window and imagined a strong breeze coursing through the trees. A bright but cool day; clothes flapping on lines strained by the rushing air’s wake while free range chicken roamed the grass. Eventually, the air would try to catch its breath and the birds would chirp.
The chirp turned into a rumble and the world outside the reverie was dark. The moon was gone; behind low dark clouds that wrung the sky dry for the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, the clouds shrunken and white let through warm sun and a light breeze. The puddles basked in the sun.