Running

21 Oct

Sometimes in college late at night I’d run for no reason at all but to remember myself through sucking cold air in and puffing it back out, to feel my lungs expanding and contracting, the pain form in the center of my chest and the pavement moving beneath my feet with every stride. It reminded me that I am alive—in an entirely non harmful way. As the heat and pain radiated out from my body, pulsing even to my fingertips, there could be no doubt in my mind. I was here. I was solid. And in those moments, everything but the blood and sinew faded. The track would have been empty, the forest a solid dark mass around the far bend and everything under the spray of moonlight. It was scary, but I liked the thrill. Running on a dark track at night was never recommended, even in the small, safe town. But I ran in circles around that track until I could no longer breathe, and then I’d stop, gasping for air. I would walk slowly back to my dorm room and take off my sneakers, wondering what to do next. People never came easy to me. Yet I wondered how, in an entire building full of them, I could feel so alone.

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