The Pleasures of Running

“You’ve always been easily bored,”  my mother says.  “Even as a little kid, you’d just follow me around saying ‘I’m boredies.”

Boredies.  Boredys?

This commentary comes after telling my mother that I find sitting in my apartment a near impossibility.  Essentially, once things are tidied, I am ready to just get the hell out of there.

“What if you lived someplace nicer?” my mom says.

“That’d be great, I can’t lie.  But I think I’d be restless anyway,” I tell her.

And it’s true.  Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy reading, I have a compulsion that doesn’t allow me to stop writing, and I know how to make my own fun.  (Every time the upstairs neighbors try to have sex, I stand directly beneath them and fart as loudly as I can.)

Here’s the problem.  I want to be excited.  So I go out and sculk around looking for it.  I watch people getting arrested, eavesdrop on strangers, burn too much gas just driving around.  I’m not sure how to explain to you what I need and I am less certain how to fulfill those desires.  Something in my subdued body is always clawing and scratching and ready to tear itself out.

It feels best to be in motion.  I think sometimes that I could drive forever and I wouldn’t get bored until I had seen every route.  I love how it feels to anticipate a new place and to be accountable to no one.  I love how it feels to imagine never stopping and never turning back.  I imagine endless bad motel nights, BBQ and draft beer from every dive.  I love being alone in public, an observer.

Living in familiar spaces is painful.  I am prone to a crippling, grieving, nostalgia.  I see in everything what my life has been and is no longer.  The slightest thing unleashes an onslaught of tears.

But.

Not on the road, where I can run like a wild horse.

I am done with being domesticated, but domesticity is not done with me.  So, I vacuum.  I scrub dishes.  I check the mail.  Take out the trash.  I dutifully send out small greeting cards.  “Hello!  All is well here in my fractured abyss!”

“You can’t outrun how you feel,” my mother says.

And that’s true.  But I have grown addicted to the pleasures of running.  I’ve grown to love with bitter attachment the sensation of anonymous motion, blank landscapes, and a body always roiling with feelings barely concealed.

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