Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane.

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Building 8 "A Break in the Gloom"

She looked at me, and I could see there was fear in her eyes. Not fear of being close, or of the thought of things changing. She was scared of me... was scared of what was happening to me. Frightened by the way I am reacting to things and the way I am falling. I get worse every day, and it is hard to forget that once reporting on this place was a mere curiosity. Now it has become an obsession, the dark things that stalk the streets not a threat to me for any obvious reason. They are a threat because they cause me to forget, if only for a little while, the shadows that lie in the lost areas of my memories.

It had started with a phone call. I had nervously called her, secretly hoping she wouldn't pick up the phone. Not because I wouldn't want the company, but more because I was unsure what to say. I hadn't spoken to her since new years after all. But she picked up, and I asked if she had any plans for Valentines Day. By the end of the conversation we had arranged to meet at my place and walk to a local restaurant. When the time came to meet, I was discouraged to note that she had not arrived. It was not until ten minutes had passed that she showed up at my door, and after that we began to walk.

It was cold, but not all that windy. It was one of those types of cold that clings to you jeans, brushing against your skin whenever you change your walk. We weren't really talking, but I didn't mind. She was wearing the same thing she wore on Christmas, and we laughed as she tried to speak only to have her hair get caught in her mouth. As we walked our hands frequently brushed. Every time it did my heart would skip a beat and I would shudder. After so much time of fatigue and nightmares, I had forgotten what it felt like to be scared of making a mistake.

When she finally spoke, it was awkward and clumsy. I enjoyed the attention all the same.

“How have you been?” I tried to come up with a easy response, but knew that she would see through it. I told her about my progress in my therapy, about the disturbing things that I had locked off for so long. She listened quietly as I told her about the tests I had taken, and my worries that I may be sick.

Some loosely related concepts

On minimalift

Weightlifting doesn’t hurt that much.

I hear a lot of people talk about how hard they train and how difficult it is. I don’t perceive weightlifting as hard. When you walk into the gym, the work expected of you and the level of pain is quite predictable, and it can only be “so bad” in terms of load or volume. Compared to the martial arts study I underwent, weightlifting is like retirement. Consider walking into your school every day, knowing full well today might be the day you endure the worst pain of your life. Some days you’re the recipient of no pain, just movement and breathing. At other times you’re enduring protracted periods of sheer agony, and then some more for good measure. Most of the time, it’s somewhere in the middle, tending towards the pain end. I remember once I took two weeks off. After the first night back in training, I wasn’t able to lift my knife and fork at the dinner table. This wasn’t even a tough session. Weightlifting is good graft but it doesn’t hurt so bad.

Fixed length lifespan

A friend died recently. She was given 10 years max to live following a kidney transplant operation. She outlived this expectation by a fair amount. Being over 60 meant she was one of the outliers in terms of lifespan - so good that she was being studied by scientist in her final months. Imagine how having a fixed expiry date (which was accurate) alters your decision making process.

Imagine you’re in some Gattaca-inspired universe where everyone expires at a known time, regardless of how you live. What would your day look like? What life choices would you make? Would you still spend your time the way you currently do? Guess what! At the moment, unless you’re an outlier that date is somewhere around your 80th birthday - if you’re very lucky. Call it 100 if you’re an optimist but I think that’s pushing it given Jack LaLanne didn’t make it. A shiny fifty pence piece says your lifestyle isn’t as optimal as his was. If you’re making poor decisions, you’re likely trimming that number down.

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