Ten Thousand Metres

This morning I cycled to work because the weather is incredible. It’s like spring and that really got me off to a good start. Work’s been pretty cool lately too as Enrique’s been quiet since his televised disaster. I’m nearly ready to feel sorry for him, but not quite, as I think he’s just milking it.

First thing I was behind the counter and an attractive lady came in wearing sports clothing and it was like a dream come true. I’m mental for running and she was wearing Nike Lunarglide+3s, the new ones. This woman wasn’t like most women who just dress sporty and then walk, that was clear. I’m almost certain I’ve seen her out running. I could talk to this woman, I told myself.

I watched her as she moved around the shop, dropping my gaze to the paper every time I thought she might turn, and eventually she brings a bottle of Powerade (blue, the best flavour) and a pecan danish (carbs) to the counter. I closed the paper and I saw her look at the front page. It’s all about some footballer who topped himself. That reminds me of part of a joke! Something about a dead man in an ice cream van, he topped himself. Is that it?

She glanced at the front page and I took the opportunity. “Terrible, eh?” I guessed. She nodded. I was in! “He had everything and yet it wasn’t enough.” Even as I was lamenting that I was thinking about all the things he probably didn’t have. A scale model of Link on Epona from The Legend of Zelda series of computer games. Those things that shape boiled eggs into hearts which I ordered from Japan.

A monster truck.

The woman was nodding and looked emotional. “There there,” I shushed. I held her close and went to kiss her. At first she started fighting me off, hammering at my chest, but her punches grew weaker and then she started kissing me back and ripping my clothes off and we did it right there on the counter.

Nah, that didn’t happen but I was amazed I had connected with her on an emotional level. “Why?” I asked the sky, perhaps too theatrically, perhaps not, it felt good.

“Depression,” the woman replied matter-of-factly.

“That doesn’t explain it.” I said, wistfully. I was not expecting her to explode with rage which she did. Right about…. now!

“What do you know about depression?” She spat. “It’s a serious disease.” No it’s not, I’m thinking and to my horror I realised her question wasn’t rhetorical, she wanted answers.

“Hey, I get the blues sometimes.”

Yesterday I was sitting on the toilet. There was a new roll of toilet paper in the dispenser and you know how they’re sealed to stop them unravelling? You know, there’s a loose flap you have to pull on to break the stuck down strip and then the whole thing is free to unroll? Well I somehow fucked up breaking that bond, only broke a percentage of it but I still thought I’d be fine on the next revolution of the toilet roll as the glue is only on the top layer but no, because I fucked up the first bit it wouldn’t release properly all the way through the roll. It made no sense at all. It wasn’t cling film. I could have stopped and sorted the problem by ripping through the bits that weren’t unrolling, so that I had a level playing field, but there and then I’d just about had enough of being messed around. So I unrolled the whole roll wrong and left it on the floor. Paula went mental but I just denied all knowledge.

“The blues?” She snorted. I’d said the wrong thing but damn! She wasn’t bad looking. “Depression isn’t the blues,” she lectured. “Depression is debilitating. When you suffer from depression you are trapped in a living hell. Anguish.”

“Actually I get that.” I lied. “I’m on medication.” Those years spent on a video game forum had taught me depressed people love talking about their medication. And my lie worked! Thanks, sad nerds! Her face softened.

“Oh yeah?”

Damn, she wanted to know which one! God, what were the drugs they go on about? Advil? No, that’s from Stephen King books. Tramadol? Kind of. Can’t get it wrong, had to play it safe.

“Prozac, 90 miggigrams” I deliberately muffled the unit of measurement. I saw she was about to talk more. I couldn’t let that happen. “I find running helps.”

She was smiling and nodding. Not a happy smile but a smile. I asked her if she ran. She did. I asked her if she wanted to go for a run this morning. She did! Twenty minutes ago I was waiting for her at the shelter. I’d put my best running clothing on and I hoped she’d be impressed with my Saucony Grid A4s. She was the best looking woman who had ever spoken to me. Luckily from meeting her to the time of our run I didn’t have much time to think about the situation, although we were only running it was pretty much a date. She wouldn’t just go running with anybody.

“Nice T-shirt!” She exclaimed pointing at my Nike T-shirt which I’d ordered from America. “Just do it!”

“Yeah!” I said. A few seconds later I said. “It means running, right? Just do it.” Then to clarify, “not, you know?” I mimed holding an rope above my head and we were off.

The woman was shit at running.

After 100 metres I was thinking, how can somebody so attractive run so slowly? No wonder she was depressed! After 500 metres I’d had enough and slowly wound it up. She tried and failed to keep up.

I didn’t look back. Did 10k at 6:30/ mile pace which wasn’t bad after such a slow first 500 metres. I also should have asked the woman her name. Ah well.

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