Today I will revisit the dear podiatrist, Dr. Sanders. It's a good thing. Last night I decided to do that thing folks do with a new car. Let's take her out on the highway and really open her up. See what she can do. It was kind of fun, going faster. The sweat just poured out of me, until three and a half miles in, I eased up. I could feel something not quite right going on with my right knee, the hip not a huge fan of velocity either, so I just decided to bring the team home, happy to have tried a new jam, and stunned that I shaved close to a minute off each mile. Not because that's my goal, but just because I find it interesting to see what this thing can do. I spent so many years ignoring it, being, essentially, in a state of horror about it, that this new relationship of cooperating with my body is kind of fascinating. I really have just put it through the ringer, but thankfully, the structure, thus far, has seen fit to allow me some more health.
I think, alas, it might also need a cortisone shot or two. My heels hit the floor today in a groan and I felt much like last night's outing covered 14 miles. I don't know if I'm doing it wrong or the heel spurs are just too much a match for the training, but I am really past the point of being able to handle it. The last long run was unbearable toward the end and I still had 11 miles to go to finish a marathon. It's not that I mind the pain mentally, it's that my body won't actually keep going I don't think. Maybe I'm not pushing hard enough. I don't know.
I also heard tale told of a holistic chiropractic wizard whose specialty is athletes in pain. The guy's whole mission in medicine is to help people move their bodies pain free. Which I am entirely in the market for. So I am going to track this feller down as well and gather the team. It takes a village. And I'm doin' this thing even if I have to limp about it.
And on another note, here is an outtake from the writing retreat. Today is my last day of this one. It has been amazing. I am really focusing on how a girl can make a life of this writing and photographing situation. Maybe I can't afford the city if I want to do that. Maybe I need grants. Maybe working forty hours a week doesn't realistically leave me enough time to build a career. Or maybe once I am done training I can replace the long runs with submissions and residency applications.
The good news is... I love writing. So much that the pain which arrives each time I stand to go get something in the kitchen is just another little bump in the road. My controls are still set to "all systems go".
And here is where Pandora watches her best friend get swiped like a pack of gum at Walgreen's. Except it's at a show at Pnyx with Orpheus' band.
I found Persephone’s face in a state I had never seen, a complete calm across it. There was no faint smirk, no figuring in the brow, no sparkle to the eye. it was as if she was willing for the first time off the mountain to let the world happen around her, and not make the world happen around her. She had put down her Olympian charms in the face of these mortals. It was un fucking real.
The crowd of beautiful mortals hushed and parted, ready to be forever changed by the night, for better or for worse, just ready. We all stood, hundreds of us, made up, made out, made over and then finally ourselves and ready. All the costuming ceased to matter and the march wore on, the outfits stopped figuring in to anything and the march wore on. The sex in the sky vanished, the potential of frenzy soaked up by this procession. They reached the stone and set the drums around the girl.
Orpheus turned in the night to face us all, lifted his head to the stars and in honor of his chosen space he bellowed
Who wishes to speak?
And there was no one.
He was patient.
He looked to each and every human available for eye contact. He looked at Persephone for an extra long time, honoring her Olympian presence, but she uttered nothing. Her face stayed placid, a lake of fondness. Every face looked as hers did: kind.
As Orpheus inhaled the stew of the people’s scent, I scanned the unearthly beauty of the crowd, my peace interrupted by the purse. The jar rattled. Wings beating in a sick tumult, a thrum on alert. And there in the shadows at the back of the platform I found the one singular face not looking at Orpheus, but looking at me.
The jar continued its misbehavior as the band exploded, waiting for his voice to join in. The sky darkened with the arrival of the Sirens, who in this moment, no one feared. Medusa herself could show up to go-go dance and the crowd would welcome her, toss tips to her snakes for snacks and dance along. I could not arrive fully, the purse beside itself with fever, looking to fly from my side, the eyes behind the stage watching me with every twitch of the bag. I had never seen this person, could barely make out the face. But from here, I knew tonight would never recoil from any of us.
And finally, finally, he sang.
The ground opened, a black chariot appeared, Hades ripping through the earth in full glory, landing in front of Persephone in her first moment of calm. The music plowed on for the ruler of the underworld, offering the goddess the shotgun seat in the best ride on the planet, or under it. Persephone thought this whole time she’d been preparing for Orpheus, when her destiny was so much more than she could have known. She crawled right into the chariot with him and they soared above the show, Persephone whipping her neck around in abandon sitting in the midst of everything a girl could ever want.
And then she was gone.
I bid you farewell and off I go to my final writing session.