An Earlier Life
In an earlier life I was a mute, vocally and physically absent. I stood alone in hallways, alone in lunchrooms, alone in my own head. In this solitary existence, my mind rose to greatness. I kept details like monetary change, the facial expressions I witnessed like pennies, passing thoughts like dimes. I looked out of bus, car, class windows but heard reasons why S. had put her sobs to rest in the embrace of her arms, why the future is vast but short. My eyes were bright. My eyes were open. My brain was open. My brain was bright. Friends were little but there, ready to hear me whenever I chose to end my silence. I spoke and spoke, lamented, cried out. I haven’t stopped speaking since. I won’t stop now.
I am twenty and biking through the swamp of the Everglades. I am twenty and this is the most exercise I have ever done in the span of my life. I am twenty and I am biking 15 miles in the mother effing heat and this is the most physical activity I have done in the span of three hours in the span of my life. The mile markers give you hope but also make you want to give up. I am at mile two and I already want to give up. I am at mile two and I can feel the calves that I know I have and am proud of burning and my muscles screaming what the hell have you done but I am at mile two and fifteen minus two means thirteen and pit stops are a thing. I am biking against a sun that is making a body that barely sweats drench and rub off my nicely applied sunscreen in order to save my PALE AF skin. You will think you can’t go on any further and then you are surprised at how far your body can take you. This is the advice a professor who bikes to and from his home to class tells you and even though you are a sprout compared to him, you play these words over and over as you hit mile five and haven’t reached the midpoint. You’re racing against time in order to not get a twenty dollar surcharge on the bike your friend rented and these speedy bikers pass you on your left and they must be European or superhumans or something like that because you are at mile ten and you are going against the wind and what the hell how are they going so fast?? Two of them look like Elio and Oliver and now you know you’re seeing things. But you hit mile thirteen and now you can take on the world. The end is closer than you think and later as you finally feel those fifteen miles in your legs and the Cantina Grill tacos have hit the spot and you apply straight outta the root aloe because the sun made it through to a thin strip of your neck, you wonder if that feeling of invincibility is only a result of pain. Will I feel hope once I’ve suffered enough?
photo credit belongs to me