The day dawns grim. Distances between all points have stretched and loosened at the same time. A clear syrup fills all spaces. I rise from my bed and commence swimming through it. I don’t want to make tea. I don’t want to drink tea. I don’t want to do anything I am currently doing. Hibernation, suspense of time and animate world, that would be good. Still, the tea is good. And incredibly, I do find myself under the the showerhead, which is also good. What I don’t want is anything else, particularly anything involving movement, and most specifically mechanical movement, vis-à-vis my exercycle.
Rationally, and there is much in me that remains so, there is nothing to do when one falls in the course of exercising, except to…. Do what I am doing minutes later, feet hooked into the great pedals of life, and going around and around, just as the digital readout is…three and a half virtual miles speeding by. In fact, there really should be no end to this, for my stamina seems to come back and my fear of exercise machines has abated. What hasn’t changed is my bladder capacity, and in the end, this is what brings things to a halt.
My nerve is back, that is the thing. Later in the day I can almost envision using the rowing machine again. Why not? I see the error of my ways. I need not fall off the seat again. I also see things that aren’t there, as the day ends. While they are there, and over the years they appear there, but only in moments of…stress? Yes, that is the simplest word, but more to the point, moments in which I face a particular kind of public exposure.
So at the monthly Caltrain meeting, at the very moment when I decide to hold forth on the topic of wheelchair boarding – it starts happening. An optical migraine, appearing as these have every few months. And if I think back, often appearing in similar settings. Such as before or during meetings. Situations in which I am going public, as it were. And since publishing a book means going public in ways and on a scale I cannot really anticipate, well…. I don’t know. Stay tuned, that is what I say.
Because there is a tomorrow. And tomorrow is now. And now, as I head for a final pee, it hits me, how tired I am. In fact, I am bone weary. I have no stamina whatsoever. My balance probably isn’t that good if I think about it, which I am. Of course, what I am really thinking about is the next step, getting on the rowing machine. That is to say, getting back on the rowing machine, the horse that threw me, as it were. I am determined. Menchu is following me out to the carport, planning to busy herself in the kitchen while I row, row, row my stationary boat. And oddly, once I am strapped in, and the process commences…yes, I am tired. I woke up way too early this morning. But as with yesterday, I have the stamina and will to do this rowing.
And once I get into it, I have more than stamina. I have drive. There just aren’t many situations in which I can expend so much physical effort, throw my bodily energies into an all-out physical endeavor. This is not just good for the abdominals and the back. It is good for the spirit. And we need all we can get. Particularly for this next thing, the one gathering its energies into the occasional optical migraine. The latter being a geometrically patterned interference with vision – just as one is attempting to walk on stage. The next stage being on stage. Oh, my God. As I say, stay tuned.