I’ve been running a lot and at an increased intensity. I’ve not been giving my body time to recover and instead I’ve given it overtraining syndrome. I’ve certainly got all this shit.

Psychological symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome:

Increased irritability, obstinacy, tendency to hysteria, grumbling, defiance, increased quarrelsomeness, avoidance of contact with coach and colleagues

Over sensitivity to criticism, or increasing indolence, poor incentive, dullness, hallucination, anxiety, depression, melancholy, insecurity

Apart from the hallucinations. I don’t have those but the rest is all spot on. Actually I don’t know what indolence is but I do have a constant headache and chest pains. I’m just not my normal happy-go-lucky self and an unfortunate old person got both barrels in the face this morning.

The old woman attempted to buy some shopping, she probably had a list because of senility. She brought her shopping to the counter. She still had enough remaining faculties to know that’s what you do with shopping. She didn’t just start eating things in the shop. She even got her card out of her purse but when it came time to input her PIN she typed in only three numbers then stood back and made no attempt to input a forth. I was watching her and she only pressed three digits. I looked at her and she looked at me and my irritability increased. “Four,” I said to her, disguising my rage quite well. She looked at me and I nodded. She looked confused. “Four!” I said to her not disguising my rage quite so well. Of course she must have then pressed the number four. “It’s four numbers you need, yeah? Your PIN?”

“Yes, yes,” she said as I pressed enter for her and her card was declined instantly. Sometimes the machine takes a while to process inputs before they’re approved. I tend to think it’s dependent on how much money the person has in the bank but I doubt that’s true. If it takes a long time I imagine the machine’s trying to scrape up enough money from that person’s multiple overdrafts. I think the machine works faster for rich people. Oh yeah, he’s good for it! The machine seems to say when it works quickly. Really it’s probably all about servers and computer stuff. This old woman, though, she was fucking up her PIN so I couldn’t guess how rich she might be.

“Declined,” I told her. “Did you put four numbers in?” I asked her. I’ve pulled something in my buttock and standing is painful although it soon disappears when I run.

“Yes, four,” she said.

“Well you’re going to have to try that again,” I told her. A queue of three was forming. We went through it again and again she only pressed three digits. “How many numbers are you pressing?” I asked, even though I knew she was only pressing three.

“Three, six-“

“No!” I shouted cutting her off and frightening her. “Don’t tell me it!” I fake laughed and rolled my eyes. “Just how many numbers?”

“How many numbers?”

“Yes. How many numbers are you pressing?”

“Three, six-“

“No!” I shouted cutting her off. I sighed and raised my eyes to the people standing in line. They didn’t react although one idiot was looking at his watch like I didn’t know this was taking a long time. I knew what they were thinking. I can read minds. “Can’t use that till,” I told them gesturing to the unused till next to me. “Logged on to this one,” and then I raised my eyebrows to tell them we were all in the same boat. Paula is in England. I could have called Enrique but it wouldn’t really help me. I was kinda glad she wasn’t just inconveniencing me. A problem shared is better than having a problem on your own, or however that saying goes. The old woman was staring at her purse. “Your PIN. It’s four numbers, yeah?”

“Four numbers?”

“Yeah, four numbers.”

“Four numbers,” she replied more confidently this time.

“Do you know those four numbers?” She didn’t know those four numbers. She knew the first and second.


“Don’t tell me them. Do you know them?”

She nodded.

“Okay!” I said. “Let’s do this.” I turned the keypad to her.

She typed in three numbers.

“Four,” I said. She reached for the terminal and I placed my hand over it. “You’re not just going to press four now? Because I said four, are you?” The old lady looked at me and withdrew her hand. “Listen, if you put the wrong number in now that’s it, it’s over, it’s game over. You only get two shots, understand?” I was laying it on a bit thick – you actually get three chances – but it was going on a bit. In my peripheral vision I saw guy at the back of the queue just give up, replace his newspaper and leave. He’d be good in war, I thought. “Then they cancel the card and it takes ages to get a new one. You sure you want to do this?” She had to know the risks. I removed my hand and nodded.

The old woman’s hand which she was nervously rubbing with the thumb of the same hand went towards the terminal and then back and she made an old woman noise and then decisively it went forward. I was watching her button presses now, the actual numbers she was pressing, as was everybody else in the queue. She pressed the four button. Somebody in the queue groaned.

“You think that’s it?” I asked.

“Yes, I think so,” she replied and so I pressed enter and her card was declined.

“That didn’t work,” I told her handing her back her card.

“Oh dear!” She said.

“Oh dear is right,” I told her. “You’ll have to go to the bank to sort it out.”

“Oh dear,” she said for the millionth time and fumbled her card back into her purse. The guy behind her leant over and handed me the stuff he wanted to buy and I started scanning it. As I scanned it I thought, I bet she doesn’t put her shopping back, and sure enough she just removed the shopping from her canvas bag and left it in front of the till and then waddled off.

“I’ll put that back, shall I?” I shouted after her. “Why do they give them cards if they can’t use them?” I rhetorically asked as I served the man I was serving.

“Ah, you’ll be old one day,” he said.

“So?” I replied.