Not Marching

The assignment in our poetry class this week was to write an ode to a part of our body. I chose my feet and am working on the poem.

But it will have to be a mixed ode, with complaints as well as praise. Because my feet have become quite painful over the last few years. Osteoarthritis – the kind where your bones hurt. I can deal with joint pain — I’ve had that since late teens and know what to do.

Oddly, I can’t walk barefoot, which is all I pretty much ever did. But that’s when the bones hit the rubber, so to speak. As soon as I put on my sturdy NB sneakers, my feet feel much better and I can forget about them.

Let me be perfectly honest. I let things stop me. My legs and feet are more than 50% numb and the circulation is as bad as if I had diabetes, which I don’t. So I should be on the treadmill every day for 20 minutes, or at least every other day, building auxiliary capillaries. That’s what they’re called, I think.

Or go for long walks. Which if I were in the country, I would do much more readily. Or so I tell myself.

There’s a little gym, or now they call it a fitness room, in the lobby of my building. We voted for it. There’s a treadmill. I’m charged a fee every month, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, I have A.D.D. and since it was not known back then, I got no special help or guidance in how to be disciplined. I always thought I was lazy, worse than lazy. I couldn’t get myself to do anything too challenging or difficult unless the motivation was very high. My teachers couldn’t figure it out.

Which brings us to the March for our Lives. Here in NYC it will meet at 10 AM across town. At 10AM I’m usually getting out of bed – I stay up very late.
And it’s a long march … and I’m afraid of how slowly I walk. And I often use a cane to help with balance.

And I don’t like crowds. And I’m fearful of strangers.

But I let a friend down. She wants to march but not alone, and I’m the logical choice. I could just go, damn it. It’s a cause I strongly believe in and I know numbers count. They’re all that counts in this fight for sanity about guns.

This is the kind of moment when I really, really don’t like myself. If I went, I could always peel off when my feet hurt. My friend could either stay or come with me — either way would be fine.

She gets up at the crack of dawn. Who knows where she’ll be when I wake up.
No, that’s no excuse either. She has a cell phone. Glory be, I don’t want to go. But if I don’t, I won’t like myself too much.

But I did my marching back in the 60’s, I plead. So that means you can’t ever march again? I answer.

What’s really strange is that tomorrow night, the same friend is having a birthday dinner and I’ll be there. I don’t know if she’ll be mad at me or what. She hasn’t emailed since I said I wasn’t going.

Kvetch kvetch. Ode to my feet. Go away.

One thought on “Not Marching

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