One leg in front of the other. One strides, the other pops, as I challenge myself around the block. Figure four times around will make a quarter mile, figure a quarter mile is all my busted knee and shattered ankle can stand. Inhale and exhale metering easy. Shoulders low, arms heart level, knees hitting at the 90 degree angle. This is also known as a battalion run.
Open up into a quasi-sprint rounding the corner towards Manatee Avenue, sweetly greeted by a plume of pungent kush. I already like this neighborhood. Push through and then out the sprint to curve onto Manatee. Ten months of bullshit and the Courier 12 point font hearing decision proclaims, “The claimant’s disability continues.” I feel my knees pick up to work out the frustration, this unnecessary bureaucratic ordeal weighing on me like I’ve put back on the 80 pounds I’ve lost cumulatively in the past three years. Frustration reverts to pleasant curiosity as I pass a white clapboard house swirling with the sexy scent of bacon. I slow to a plod and feel exceptionally carnivorous.
Just the other day, in the new shoe store along Central Ave, we were all complaining of the same health benefits issue. The shop owners, both Army, both retired and now in business selling Miami-style women’s clothes, are also struggling to maintain their disability benefits. Active duty, reservist, civilian personnel, anyone who tolerated asinine bureaucracy for the sake of public service, we’re all at the same level of irritation: we put in our time, we paid our taxes, we satisfied contracts. Now, when we’re ready to collect on our hard earned yet meager reserves, we’re forced to prove or substantiate or submit or fill out or visit a vortex of dumbfuckery.
With the help of rage, I’ve already completed three laps. Purge this hate outta my body! This is a staycation with The Boyfriend (still haven’t thought of a clever nickname for him; suggestions welcome!) and this bungalow is adorable. Our own pool and a green-friendly innkeeper. It’s our two month anniversary this weekend. Yeah, I’m becoming very gay and so far I don’t hate myself for it.
Slow to the soggy wood gate and push it open, clasp it shut behind. I follow the path around to the pool, and I collapse into a plank. Only 45 seconds this morning. Dammit I’m getting fat!
Immediately I’m reminded of this silly saying my Mom would say:
“el amor se engorda”
10 months and 4 years later, the battle for competency has come to an end. Perhaps I can enjoy life right now. I’d like to. After all, there’s a guy waiting for me inside, waiting for me to clear my head to make room for him.