It is 6.22am and I am up and out for a walk. It should be a run but I just can’t do it. I am torn between telling myself I am doing well just for being up and out and doing what I should and tearing myself apart for being too weak to run. I know what will win in the end. But still, I hope not.
The sky is grey and the air is crisp and clean on my sleepy skin. A few houses have their lights on but most remain silent and still. Golden leaves have started to cover the streets.
As I cross the main road, cars race past then nothing but a distant rumble. I pass a man walking two beautiful, bouncing dogs and attempt the half-smile that speaks of a shared situation and feigns a form of confidence that will be so successful in a few hours when I walk along with my daughter, hand in hand. But nothing. Maybe it’s my hood.
I bypass the playing fields in all their green glory, an all too perfect reminder that I should be running, and head towards the shops and station in desperate search for signs of life. The rubbish collection rumbles by and men jump from the truck, their day-glow vests and pitch and pace let the world know their morning is well underway. As I pass the familiar shop fully lit throughout, I realise that in the entire time I have lived here, I have never seen it closed.
I continue on and pass commuters and, listening again, realise the roads have come alive. I walk on towards the big houses. I stop. The future seems inevitable. I turn around and walk back.
To return home and say, yes, it helped.