On on empty stomach and an hour out of the hospital i somehow decided that i needed to take a walk — if for any reason then to remind myself that there is such a thing of fresh air and that most streets are longer than the distance from my hospital bed to the elevator bank. So i walked.
Comparatively, my stay in the hospital will shrink and shrink away until it is finally nothing from a distance, and i swung out each leg in a wide arc in front of the other to add to that distance as i marched down Walnut street. The distance between here and class, that i am dreading the walk of right at this instant, evaporated away and i kept walking. Charging. In my head i was at a solid jog, feeling the in out in of my breath and watching as i passed everyone around me. Honestly, i couldn’t tell you if i was jogging or not.
I got past Drexel and suddenly i found myself at the highway; it borders the Schuylkill on the west side and metro Philadelphia rises in glittering tiers on the other side. Feet planted firm on the bridge, my city looked like an artist’s rendering of itself: flat and unchanging … detailed but with no depth. I don’t know how long i stood there staring at it staring back at me before i walked towards it. I expected to come up against a translucent sort of wall where i could run my hand against the shimmering image of the city and try to press through, but before i realized it i was past it and inside the image i had observed.
Somehow it was different. I still had that flavor of hospital in me, the tiny lines of adhesive from all of the tape that held in my IVs, the ID tag on my wrist. I hadn’t thought to take it off, honestly.
Every word i said came out the way it wasn’t meant, and i’m wondering if i was really ready to leave.