01 September 2015

The autumn

The girls

The autumn has been knocking since the middle of July and then yesterday, it was there, raining because rain is really the beginning of autumn. I got up at 4AM, not sleeping again and weighed myself. I was seventy five kilogrammes even, seventeen point four percent fat. I spent more time looking in the mirror than I normally would. I heard the rain outside and opened the window to the toilet, the bathroom, and looked out at it. 

I ate all sorts of things and then sat on the sofa, waiting for the sun to come up and the rain to stop. It did not, so I pulled on my raincoat and decided I would run anyway, despite it raining so hard and despite being that weight that I have wanted to be for the last four years. The last five years. I did a breathing exercise that I found on YouTube — empathetic breathing — and felt my body, my stomach, rise and fall while a man talked about how we rock out nervous system with our breath. Bullshit, I thought, but rocked and breathed and felt like I wasn't there for a second. 

I ran and felt fat, the way you do when you have lost weight and are no longer fat, but still feel it around you like, a kind of phantom limb. You wonder what will trigger another gain, whether you will be fat again in a couple of months. I got home and was so wet, the sweat on the inside and the rain on the outside. I am running faster than I ever have: not in the rain, of course, not in a raincoat.

Focus on breathing has replaced smoking for a moment. There are so many videos to watch about breathing on YouTube. Five counts in, or six, or four, or two short ones. I stand up straight, or sit up straight, or force my belly to go up and down as I lie in bed. The heart can be so loud, if you let it, the whole world regressing into it. And then you fall asleep. 

I walked home after my run — six miles in forty three minutes and some change — trying to think of some mantra to recite as I breathed. Was it the Doxology or a Hail Mary. I recited them. Maybe it was Whitman, I thought: I don't know any Whitman by heart. 

Things are piling up: again, I feel at a false precipice. I say false in case it turns out to be nothing, but say it anyway, because I want to remember and feel prescient if this is indeed the precipice. The girls are getting ready to go back to school and it's raining. It's always raining at this time of year.
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