Nothing in particular happened. I’ve had the same habits I’d nurtured when I first moved here. Yoga in the morning. Ride the green line to work. Ride the yellow line home. Dinner and yoga at dusk. Hit the bars on Friday and Saturday night with Serge and/or Mike and/or Juan.
I chalked it up to something Freudian. Don’t have the time to dig for an answer and don’t have the patience for another therapist. I saw Dr. Schmidt for two weeks, missed yoga three times and the evening train four. Never again.
Frail. Languid. Delicate. Nervous. The words on the no-nonsense label caught my eye between the Burt’s Bees and the chia seeds. Blood ran thin – yes, thin was the right word – since June, ran cold despite the summer heat. I don’t feel strong anymore. I don’t feel whole.
I swallow a spoonful at dawn. It tastes like bananas and aspirin. I stretch to my toes and I run out the door down my well-worn route to the gym. I run past its long front window. Inside, a dozen familiar faces without names push and pull weights tied to strings tied to groaning machines. Something urges me on. I keep running.
The morning is cool, but the sweat is hot down my back. I run up the street and cancel my class at Yoga for You.
I run to the flats of Serge, Mike and Juan and tell them it’s over. Juan smiles and wonders aloud if it ever began in the first place.
I run to the train and stand on the platform. The cars fill to the brim with commuters. I watch the train pull off without me.
I run back to Unit 343, the place I called home, and write out a check for the rent that I owe. I place it upon my roommate’s red desk and pack what I want to keep.
I start up the car. I drive in a straight line out of town. The high rises become subdivisions. The subdivisions become pastures. The pastures become wooded.
I turn down a shale-laden road and park in a clearing among a dozen other cars with a dozen different plates. I walk up a path through the woods.
The path ends at a door set in a windowless building. I knock and it opens. A woman leads me down a row of lockers. She stops at 5G. I change into the clothes inside and head through the plastic strip curtain between two swinging doors.
A man hands me a hairnet and a pair of rubber gloves and ushers me to an open spot on the assembly line. Flat by flat, a great machine squirts the perfect amount of thick yellow fluid to fill twelve dozen glass bottles at once.
I know what to do. I can feel it: new veins stretch from my heart through my limbs like roots and stems from a seed.