Not exactly leaping from bed, but…

Every once in a while I surprise myself. Somehow I managed to bring
myself from sleeping in bed all the way out to the second revetment
and home again, 5.6 miles, in the predawn chill.

 It helped that I had turned the heat off last night, so the imminent
threat of freezing to death actually woke me up about ten past four,
about five minutes before the alarm went off. I rearranged the
blankets on top of the bed, instead of underneath it, and then the
alarm went. I remember exactly the moment I realized I was going
running: when I put on sweatpants instead of shorts to run to the ab
unit. From there, I just tossed on the jacket (I’d filled the pockets
with all the paraphernalia last night) and I was out the door on my
way to run.

 As a bonus, I even managed to psyche myself into not turning around at
12th street, like I did the day before yesterday. It’s cold out, sure,
and dark because the waxing moon has set long before I start out, and
the other day I told myself that it was okay to turn around, that the
marginal value of running an extra 20 minutes was overcome by the
marginal value of not freezing to death (I think there was a stiffer
wind Saturday, too). But today I felt OK and I realized that once I
was out there, dressed and warmed up, with warm, heavy gloves on, I
might as well just push the extra two miles. So I ran up the hill in
the pleasant darkness all the way to the second revetment and back
comme d’habitude.

 Coming back home along the main boulevard, I pass the car wash and
ice plant, where it’s always a little busy, and then there’s one
block, between the firehouse and the stadium, where every morning it
always seems like toytown down here in the secret city: it’s just so
quiet and peaceful. It reminds me of a Richard Scarry town before all
the madness begins, or maybe that’s just my impression of my little
secret city here: by day, it’s a little busytown, with the distinctive
rumble of the Mitsubishi standard-transmission 23-pax buses and the
water splashing out of the tops of the water trucks as they apparently
drive in endless loops around town. And every once in a while a house
or a bathroom will drive by (on the back of a flatbed, usually).


Can I take that back and try to wake up again?

What a surprise! I woke up not ten minutes ago [back at four forty-five a.m., but no internet until now] to a rushing heartbeat and the unmistakable wobbly sensation of being too far up a coniferous tree. Plus the pegs feel like twin Jul logs of lactic acid, smoldering away for a third party to appreciate.

I shed the pajamas, pulled on shorts, and socks, and the old pair of trainers, and went out for a quick trip to the ab unit, feeling bewildered. What kind of switcheroo was this, G. Samsa of Secret City? What happened to the chipper fellow I’d gone to sleep as, who’d dined on beet salad, three cups of tea, a slice of pizza, and a manageable scoop of coffee ice cream?

I’d been ready, I’d been motivated. I’d read about Jean C installing a new kitchen sink. Was all that preparation just a blithe, fantastical dream? Is this sad state my reality? A drab paneled cube of lodging space furnished with empty beds and dusty footlockers, invisibly striated like a USA Today weather map by the crisp, dry and insufficient heat from the wall unit? A googly-eyed trio of stuffed animals, all repeating the same story when asked about my motivation—ya se fue, boss, it done left.