06 September 2015

Making weight

The last two times I have tried to give platelets, something has gone wrong, and the return, the part of the process where they give you back your red blood cells and some anticoagulant, fails. The machine alarms in a worrying way and someone rushes, in the way nurses rush when they don't want to frighten anyone, and take you off the machine. You're bruising, they have to stop for now. Don't worry, emphasising that you shouldn't worry, making you think, perhaps there is something I should be worried about.

On Tuesday, I climbed onto the scale and there it was, the last number I had been looking for, seventy five, the real ending of my weight loss from the summer, all my sins of drinking with my father-in-law and all the bread and butter paid for. I got off the scale and didn't know what to do. What do you do. You certainly can't suddenly start eating. I checked my e-mail and ate what I would normally eat, and got back to my writing. There is a lot to write now, five things I counted, with the first two due at the end of the month. Something about metaphor.

Making weight is something that you can't explain to someone who hasn't done it before. They assume you must be happy and you are, but it's an uneasy happiness because you aren't sure what to do next, really. You certainly aren't done thinking about your weight. You certainly can't suddenly start eating all the things you have been trying to avoid. You just sit there, thin and confused, struggling to make sense of it for someone else. There is nothing worse than trying to make sense of something for someone else, when you can't even make sense of it for yourself.

But I got up and ran and then ran again this morning, and coming into Birmingham on the canal this morning, the sun shining, and I felt it: that elusive feeling that you feel when you want to run and where running makes sense and whatever reason you run for is clear, at least for a moment, when the sun, the early morning sun, hits the water and the path in front of you is straight and flat, at least for as far as you can see.