I just want to run, like I once did when I was a kid, effortlessly and pain free, fast and easy, like I can still do in my dreams. I want to feel the rush of air against my face, taste it as it flows through moist ducts and beyond swelling alveoli to nourish a racing heart. If I fall, I’ll get right up. Let wounds ooze and weep without worry, for they can be dealt with later. Because right now, I just want to run.
Faster and faster, I want to run, and leave it all in the dust. I want to sprint like Usain Bolt, a bipedal blur, strong and relentless, despite being trapped in a body now withered and bleached and cankered with bedsores. No beckoning cell phones or laptop to slow me, no IV tubes or dressings or wire leads tethering me down to monitors glowing with jaundice news. If only for a moment or even briefly, I want to run away from the responsibility of being ill; outrun the incessant hemorrhage of bills and pills and insurance forms.
I want to push it beyond the limit, because I know that I can. Leave behind the handicap of fatigue and analgesic and the arthritic solder of chronic disease. I want to run away from life, but I want to live. I want to breathe without the worry of a next coming breath. I want to cry without fear, like tears loosed by the joy of seeing family members triumph. Let those tears paint my cheeks without consequence, in simple brushstrokes of saline, like they did as a child. I want to run and run and run along the floor of the sky, unburdened by crippling uncertainty and the never ending question terrorizing my mind - am I going to live or die?
Through whiskered fields or unclean streets, I just want to run - like I once did, like I once could - limbs swinging with the emancipation of youth. Because I know if I could run, nothing else would matter. Because if I could run, I know I could do anything.
It’s a unique experience (dare I say blessed) to suffer, and survive, as I did. Several years ago I lay in bed, so sick that lifting my head off the pillow was the physical equivalent of summiting Everest. All the time, helpless and embalmed with uncertainty, hope a distant echo in a mind fettered in surrender, taut faced family members orbiting like satellites in close orbit around a dying sun. I remember feeling for them more so than myself. Beyond the obvious concerns for my family, and the uncertainty of whether tomorrow I would stand atop the earth or lay a flat fathom below, all I could think was…
…I want to run.
Last night I was able to do just that. For the first time in a decade at 11pm est, I was able to run. Then I ran home and scribbled this out.