My mind has been running the marathon since I was about 13 years old. You see, any fast racer with great stamina has its own preferences: it likes to run when it’s dark out. When the curtains are drawn, and the lights are out, it takes the starting position. Ready, set, go.
When it goes, it goes fast. Speeding past any mindful instructions, short-lived sense of relaxation, and my quick calculations of the maximum hours of sleep I can get on this Tuesday night. It races from my bedroom to far-away destinations in the depth of my memory, once in a while stopping along the way.
The route starts off in a familiar place with familiar faces. The comfort of my blanket. The “good night” conversation with a friend. The image of my cat sleeping soundly. The paper I just finished writing for school. The feeling of contentment after finally seeing the leaves change colors.
As it keeps going, the track starts to change. It becomes rugged and obscure, passing places that I don’t even remember them being there. Fractures of moments assemble into continuous snapshots as they appear in peripheral views. The humiliating day in 5th grade ESOL. That one regrettable text I sent out at 9:43 PM two Fridays ago. The pair of pink earphones I lost in the locker room. The nonchalance in those eyes as I stood before him. The mere number of days before I graduate from high school.
Before I could take notice of the speed of its travel, I find myself being pulled away to a place above the concrete ground I previously stood on. The future. A metaphysical route with infinite directions. The moment I open that letter. The first of many nights at the dorm. Adulting. Finding love. As an attempt to find its way back to the ground amidst the thick grey fog, I move my feet as fast as I can, desperate for some sense of contact with the concrete to push me forward.
As the pace of its steps slows, and all energy start to wear off, I find myself held at the same place, neither moving forward or backward.
I don’t remember how the race ended.