I just did it. Straight out the front door. No hesitation looking through the mottled glass to see if the street was clear. No nerves or listening if anyone was outside that I might bump into. Some neighbour or an unexpected visit from a friend, nothing. I simply unlocked the front door pulled the handle and left the house. I hadn’t waited for dusk either. Since returning from my holiday I have been left with a confidence of “Oh for God’s sake. Just get on with it.”
I was worried about loosing that confidence. That the memory of those days in the Cote d’Azur would be just a trace left behind as the reality of the trudge of daily life returned. Slowly burnt away by daily commutes and arses of the work place looking after their own interests. It hasn’t happened though. Keeping the confidence means keeping it alive. Taking what I’ve done on holiday and keeping that level rather than letting myself slide back into that comfortable lethargic secret life.
I made my way to the coast for my weekly promise of a morning run. It was an hour later than I normally would due to a terrible migraine that woke me in the early hours like a train colliding with my head. It was a little busier than usual with more joggers and a few dog walkers that are normally greatly reduced if I’d got there for eight-thirty on a Sunday morning. I slotted the car into a space facing the sea jumped out of the car and hid my belongings, barring the car keys, in the boot. Just like when I left home there was no hesitation. It was a day for those black short-shorts and, being early in the morning on a late September day, a baggy hoodie pull-over and my hair tied up in a high pony tail.
Despite the slight chill in the air the temperature was rapidly increasing confirming to those people that every year without fail exclaim, “We’re going to have an Indian Summer this year, definitely.” The tide was super high making the coast clean cut and neat with the sparkles of the sun cutting through the slight salty sea mist. It was only half way along my coastal run when the rapidly changing heat got too much. My hoodie had to get transferred to a wrap-around-the-waist tied in a fashion that I would have as a kid on the sports field running track yellow with dead grass cuttings in the summer months. With my confidence still high I ran on. Enjoying wearing what I wanted but without actually thinking about it. My mind on other things like my future and career. Wanting something better that I enjoy. May be writing a screen play or a new novel that would just make me want to get up in the morning. The whole gender-thing would probably just be a formality to be dealt with then. I could at last get on with my life and concentrate more on the important enjoyable things. Music, writing, socialising and just being me.
I completed my whole circuit stretch of the bay area that I normally run and wasn’t too far from the car. I took a breather, looking over the railing at the deep sea water. I suspected there was still plenty of time on my parking ticket and wondered whether I should head back for breakfast. My joints ached a little but the air and scenery were still intoxicating and enticing like a condensation clad bottle of ice cold water. I couldn’t go back now. If I was going to get fitter I really needed to start increasing my distance and exercise more. I went for a run with James when I first came back from holiday. He’d still been running every single day and was keeping it up. Even Maddie was finding time to run long distances amongst her crazy working hours. If I was going to continue stuffing my face with French and English pastries each week then I really needed to work at this. I stretched my bare legs a few times and returned back down the coast for another circuit.
There was a buzzing travelling across the sea, still high and lapping gently against the large shore rock boulders. A pair of jet skis cutting through the water at high speed like a raw lime on the tongue. It may almost be October but it could be easily mistaken for late May. They got to the edge of the bay lock gate and came to a halt in a last-stab-at-the-throttle spin before cutting their engines for a rest just short of a post full of Cormorants. I continued on with my own finish line in sight.
“Excuse me!” came a man’s voice from the water in that loud but unmistakable outdoor flat-sound. I continued to run but looked down at the man on the jet ski not more than thirty or so yards away. I wasn’t sure exactly what he could possibly want. Directions may be? Directions in the sea? It’s a bit difficult to say, ‘Third left at the large wave. If you see the big fish you’ve gone too far.’ I didn’t reply, I just waited for what him to ask anything.
“I think you’re beautiful.” he shouted. I tried to remain ignorant looking ahead after he’d said it. Running on I couldn’t contain a slight smile of flattery. ‘Should I say something? No. Don’t be silly. What if your voice just croaks or something giving away everything?’ I thought. A thumbs-up would be ridiculous and a wave would be silly too. I briefly looked down again at the parked jet ski bobbing up and down with a dark haired accent leaning on the handle bars. “I’ve always loved you.” he shouted in one last attempt with his friend a few yards away chucking at his chat-up lines.
My run was soon over and I took a few moments on the rocky beach to take those last refreshing breaths at the waters edge in the last ten minutes of the parking ticket. I was reset. My run a great distraction from the terrible stresses of my working week as was Mr Shouty-Chatup from the jet ski. It was a break from the waiting I have to endure between psychiatrist sessions and decisions. I have to admit to being a little warmed by the experience. Even validated. Like an airbrushed photo it’s amazing what a few yards can do to the eyes.
Until next time.