Tonight I go for a run. Even though it’s already dark. Even though I’m tired. I have to.
The dark started seeping in around the holidays. Now it’s
February. It’s been a few months. It hasn’t been persistent, but it has been
enough for me to notice.
So I change my clothes, and after the baby is safely to bed,
I lace up my shoes and head out into the night.
I’ve been running from the dark since I was a kid. I told my
mom, “Why do I always have to be the happy one? Maybe sometimes I’m just not
I’ve been running from the dark ever since the summer when
my brother didn’t sleep. He started hearing voices and talked too fast and
ended up in the hospital.
I’ve been running from the dark ever since the winter my
sister didn’t sleep. She started hearing voices and talked too fast and ended
up in the hospital.
They both made it. They made their way out of the dark. I’m
I’m about a mile in. It’s a cool night and the first half of
this run is uphill. The second half will be easier.
In college, the dark seeped in with the rain. It was the
rainiest year on record in the Pacific Northwest. I blamed the rain. So, after
college I moved to Los Angeles. I thought the sunshine might help. But the
monotony of blue skies got to me. I started to see a therapist and I kept
I’m halfway through my run, but I’m behind. I need to pick
up the pace. It’s getting late.
After my daughter was born I paid very close attention
to the darkness. I wasn’t sleeping. I worried about the whole post-partum bit. I
could see the darkness around the edges, when the exhaustion felt like too much and when I was up alone in the middle of night. I kept moving though, and as
soon as I could, I started to run.
It’s mostly downhill for this last half-mile. The palm trees
are silhouettes against the night sky. The moon is hidden behind the clouds.
When I tore my Achilles tendon, I couldn’t walk or run for
months. That’s how I know things are bad because it’s darker now then it was a
year ago. Nothing has changed except how I
feel, and I can run again.
I stop at a light, a few blocks from home. In just a few
seconds, I’ll be home. When I get there the lights will be on and I'll head inside where