A man in the shower. Nothing out of the ordinary.
He is naked.
„Disgusting“, probably the first thing that comes to mind.
„Why?!“, well… why wouldn’t he be naked? It’s a shower. You do not wear clothes in the shower, do you?
And because he wants to be naked, needs to be naked. In the shower, that is. Because he was out running, exercising. Now he is all sweat and pain and he tries to remember how he got here.
So, he retraces his steps, all 14259 of them. At least that is the number his watch gives him when he checks how many he took up to this point, on that particular day.
Luckily, he is on his own and no one will be bothered by his pathetic, undressed appearance…
2 hours earlier
He steps out into the cool and clear morning, ready to go. Ready to go on his run. As soon as he hits that play button on his phone, the familiar sounds of soft strings and warm piano chords find their way into his ears, his mind, into his… heart?
You wouldn’t expect Motion Picture Scores to be the soundtrack of choice for a middle-aged man, going on a run to… To do what exactly? To “boost his fitness”, fight his seemingly ever-increasing weight, try to look like a much younger and maybe, just maybe, an even more attractive version of himself?
And yet, it is just as if the algorithm of his phone shuffling the tracks in his Running playlist knows. How else would you explain it choosing “Ghosts” while he is contemplating ghosts from his own past?
There is this road sweeper, parked for the weekend. The sight of it reminds him of a story about a kid and his mother. It is almost like looking at a different version of his own life, a life he doesn’t seem to be entitled to have, a life he-
He stops looking. Why bother, it is not meant for him. Run, run, run! But he can’t stop thinking about this life and that it has been so close and yet so far, just out of his reach… and “Now Long Gone”.
It is pain. That’s why he’s running. Trying to learn how to deal with it, how to endure it.
And his body gives to him, what he doesn’t want but needs to feel. His knees, his back, his lungs, his whole body seems to be an orgy of pain. Good, that means he doesn’t need to deal with the other stuff… for now, anyways.
To be honest, he kind of has to smile because this shuffle algorithm surely has the most dark sense of humor. How else would you explain its decision to be playing “Road To Perdition” at this exact moment?
Well, it is kilometer number three and he is in the uphill part of his run, so of course it feels like he’s on his personal road to perdition.
Yeah, yeah, “The World is Ahead”. If this is his playlist trying to cheer him on, it needs to do better. Much better than this because kilometer four and it’s still uphill for him.
But then, all of a sudden, he feels strangely elated. Knowing there’s just a few meters more to go before he reaches the highest point of this particular track… Or is this the highpoint? The highpoint of his day, week, year, life…
No, no, no. This cannot be it! There has to be more. More air!
No, seriously, he needs more air!
Coming up that hill he kind of overexerted himself and if he’d be honest right now, he would have to admit:
He needs a break.
to be continued…
© 2020 albert sadebeck