With the sun and the wind and the knots in her hair, she fled. Away from the pit of her soul, from the source of her misfortunes, from the uncertainty of her life. Always running, but never arriving – her passion was the pursuit and the final destination was always secondary.
Steady, even breaths guided her weary legs through fog and ice and dust. Stopping for nothing – not the gummy feeling at the back of her throat or the numbness in her feet or the searing pain in her right hip – she ran on and on like a hamster in a wheel. No end in sight, she just ran.
It wasn’t for the pleasure of it, exactly. Lord knew it took hard work to walk out the door in the mornings. It wasn’t exactly for the pain, either. The constant reminders of her mortality only kept her focused on the finish line, wherever and whenever it presented itself that day. How she longed for the finish.
Before she pulled on her sneakers and gym shorts, there’d been booze. Before booze, only daydreams. Fantasies of the end. Something to make the stone she carried in her soul bear less weight. Never able to identify the source of the stone she carried, she did all she could to lighten the load.
Somehow, running gave her feet wings which lifted her soul higher than she’d known was possible. The stone turned weightless in the minutes that passed on her journeys to nowhere. For those brief times when she challenged the endurance of her body, she also challenged the endurance of her mind. And left her soul free to wander, at last.
Grounded now, without that sweet release and flight of her feet, she is lost. Alone. Without recourse.
Without cause, her body defeated her soul. Without reason, her gut abandoned her. Instinct run amok. Ran. Gone.
What is left for our runner? What finish line to cross? What wings to lift her spirit? Will weddings and artistic merit come to her rescue? Is love the only answer? Will she ever find the will to fly again? Will my feet find freedom outside my running shoes?
What choice, in the end, is there? For this, it would appear, is finally and in fact the finish line for my grand escape.