I’m sitting across from an old man at the Seward Coop. It’s gray and cold outside and the old man is wearing my watch and a sweater that looks like one in my dresser. I can’t type well because my finger is still healing but if I go slow it’s not so bad. Obliterating my finger was a gift, pain medicine and stasis all at the cost of a fourth digit. Cheap lesson in empathy and I found I’m well suited to doing nothing. Running today was drinking with a friend I enjoy but don’t need anymore.
I ran and I started by breathing but when the breath got long and my mind wandered I moved to feeling and when that was more than I wanted to do I began to listen which lasted until I smelled the decaying river so I stayed in my nose and memories until I hit the bridge where I opened my eyes.
This running sensory deprivation test is borderline bourgoise on a Thursday at noon, but it served its purpose. My mind was quiet and I what I experienced was beautiful. It felt like sliding through an old memory. I wonder if that’s what art is, just existing in a -sense- for a moment. Birds cars and the wind blowing a leaf across the sidewalk becomes an orchestra, and the salt line running down the asphalt is a painting that only I am looking at. Dog shit still smells like dog shit, but reading and writing is like painting my thoughts.
I degloved and broke my finger off two days after skiing the City of Lakes Loppet and two weeks before I was going to ski the Birkibeiner. I started the race well and was skiing easy in the top pack of five until my body broke down. No exogenous source or reason, I simply hadn’t trained enough. I looked at the 35 kilometers ahead of me and I thought about giving up. I kept skiing because I wanted the lesson.
I’m still processing the lesson and I’m ready to drink so I was going to tie this off with a quip about Donald Trump, man buns and our worst selves. But he doesn’t deserve a quip and neither do man buns. He is the embodiment of the worst in every one of us and therefore shouldn’t be mocked dismissed or endorsed. He needs to be observed cauterized and pathologized so that we can become a better nation and a better people. I just passed my finals though so I’m taking the day off from training to be a doctor. Instead I’ll drink and stew and create a differential tomorrow.