29 July 2015

When the lie stops

When you gain weight, you lie to yourself: you are not gaining weight, you are not eating too much, you are, for whatever reason, feeling slower and more depressed. Your clothes fit more tightly and you compensate by saying you are under a great amount of stress. You don't think when you eat: you just eat. You eat when you are happy and when you are sad. You eat because of those things, and then in spite of them. You eat not because you need to, although you need to, but because you are obsessed with it. The clothes get tighter and tighter and you keep lying to yourself until you can't any more, and the lie of it all catches up with you.

The University of Kent is on a hill: you become aware of hills when you run. The Kentish hill, Kentish being an adjective meaning 'of Kent' or 'in Kent' or 'coming from Kent', is steep even in a car and when we sped up it in a taxi on Wednesday afternoon, I was happy that I hadn't decided to walk it initially. I would have arrived at my talk sweating and exhausted. On Saturday morning, I woke up with the incredible yen to run to the sea, like it was my birthday. I followed the path, the signs to Whistable that I both trusted and distrusted until I came first to the harbour and then the beach, a man with a metal detector. I chose three rocks from the sand and ran back up the hill.

Now, I've slipped into a summer holiday. Birmingham is flirting with rain today: I am on the fourth floor of the university library with the books I need and some I want. The girls are at home giggling and chasing each other.