Treading the undulating asphalt that coil around my neighborhood - city breeze threatening to pull my earpods out and the kick of my feet against the ground sending vibrations back through my joints - I told myself I wanted to document this; to write about my return to a way of life my body stole from me.
This is foolish, of course. I write like my body and mind are two different things.
Perhaps they are. These past weeks have left me contending it seriously. For many times in the last month when my eyes settle on my running shoes and my mind wills my hands to go for them, a nerve, I imagine, snaps back in annoyance to say “I’m not your slave, I’ll reach for your shoes when I am well and ready.”
After one of these conversations, I reached for those infernal running shoes and put them in storage.
This evening, my other brown trainers are running points. They are for the mountains, not city roads. I don’t care.
Planet Money purred in my ears and fuel-effecient Japanese cars rolled past. Tired Indian workabees - chauffeured by big-bellied Nigerian fathers on minimum wage - on their way to warm mattresses or wet mistresses.
Jillian, an economics grad is interviewing for 250 jobs over a weekend in Chicago. He’s running in a starched flannel shirt and patent leather shoes through high rises in the gilded streets of that tinsel town. It’s the largest recruitment racket for the brightest economists in the world. And thousands of recruiters and applicants descend on Chicago for that weekend for this yearly ritual. Jillian clocked 22 interviews at the end of the three-day sprint. Everyone loved Jillian. Didn’t mean Jillian got an offer. Everyone thought Jillian was too good for them. He’d probably end up in Harvard so no one offered him a position. It’s like how super-models are lonely.
I’m sitting here, my Mac resting on the pillow with my legs propped in a lotus under it. The gen is turned off now and the water is still drying from my hair.
Jillian ran because; to meet as many employers as possible is to sometimes know that “perhaps we aren’t well suited for each other..”
For Jillian and me, I don’t suppose our races were that different. Jillian ran to condition his brain for rejection. I ran to prove to that rogue nerve that I lay down the law around here. Component of our being needed stimulations different than they are used to if we are to grow.
In the morning when I wake, I’m going to hear that rogue nerve protest. “Hey Gbenga, I can’t lift you off your bed right now. I’m not ready yet.”
But I’ll be ready for that dance, you see. I’ll put on a wild cynical self-assured smile and say; “I can see your future. Close your eyes, and stick with me. We are going to conquer the world today, you and I.”