You’re walking on the West Side thinking how you wish New York was more aware of the water. And then you see the Hudson and the air is cold, but the water is bright in the morning sunlight. It’s beautiful and you see people jogging by the river.
You wish you’d been running more. Remember when you were younger (you’re not old, you’re still young yourself, but it was a year ago and time feels longer now than it used to) and in college and all the pressure to work and be active meant you would run for miles and miles and miles. That felt good. You felt strong.
You’re by the river now and people pass you at a pace. You’re thinking you’ll go back to your apartment and change into sweatpants and join them but instead without even meaning to you fall into a jog and slip in besides two women in athletic gear. You open up your stride and pass them.
You feel ridiculous. You’re in jeans and boots and you’re wearing two jackets. But it’s freezing, and even at a jog your hands and face are needled by the wind. And this is New York, you tell yourself. No one cares what you’re wearing. No one cares when you’re wearing it. No one cares. Get out of your head. It’s lonely in there.
You’re moving faster now and you feel your tits moving with every step. You’re a man, but you’ve gotten fat and also skinny somehow so all the muscle in your chest is gone and you admit they really do feel like tits now. You’re out of shape and you’re breathing hard. You pick a skyscraper in the distance and tell yourself that’s the destination. After that you’ll turn around.
You reach it faster than you thought, and then back to the apartment from there feels like only a moment. You haven’t run in a while but you still know how distance feels. That couldn’t have been more than a mile and a half. 10 minutes at most. Now that you’ve stopped though your body feels hot and you’re steaming under all your layers. You’re back in your head now and you’re frustrated that you’ve sweat through your shirt. But then you stop and enjoy how good it feels to be tired, even for a moment. Sweating is the point after all, isn’t it?