The soft tak tak tak from beneath me validates every step, gives it purpose. I can feel the pump of my muscles. I can feel the beads of sweat forming on my brow and streaking down my jawline to my chin where they hang – desperate – before tumbling away. I can feel the ground pushing me away from it as my plimsolls slaps down, again and again, tak tak tak. The tarmac is even and uninspired, steady but tedious like my mothers pot roast. I have my pink earphones in, the wires bouncing on my bouncing chest as I run. I’d tell you who I was listening to but it would shape your opinion of me in a wholly irresponsible way, for better or worse. I can hear it in the silence betweens songs, the soft tak tak tak.

  The streets ahead are slowly swallowed by my periphery vision. One by one they all fall to me and my hunger for forwards. I’m devouring countless houses on the estate I’m taking today, along with the Nielson’s yappy dog – the only sign of life at five AM. It’s against their window, barking at me in silence, it’s mouth moving with the lurching yelps that erupt from its chest but all I can hear is the aforementioned unknown that is pumping into my ears. I wave – aggravating it more, no doubt – and swallow it too.

  Everything is here and now and nothing else can possibly exist in an existence so isolated. My heart pumps against my head, my neck, my wrists, my vagina – it pumps against everywhere but my chest. I realize I’ve aligned my pace with the beat of the music. Sped up to keep up. I’m working harder now, my fringe is wet with perspiration and stuck matte against my head. My ponytail is jumping around between my shoulder blades, it’s erratic movement throwing off my rhythm ever so slightly. A car rolls past me lazily and in absolutely silence, startling me as I regurgitate it from my vision.

  I’m a thermos; my insides burning with the exertion but my skin cool as I run through the damp morning air. I fill my lungs with the crisp clean oxygen of the September morning, still wet with dew, and know it’s as useless as ice-cubes in coffee. I’m breathing heavily, visibly, so much so that I’m bursting through it every time I exhale. I  wait on the sidewalk, jogging on the spot, as another car passes by; a herald of the world’s awakening. The streets are no longer my own. I begin circling back, my own lonely footfalls the only company, tak tak tak.


~ by Joseph Blame on July 2, 2010.

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