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Orange Fire Enters My Skull
Yes, I really do believe in silver linings, mostly because I’ve been seeing them almost every day when I emerge from the basement, push my head and arms through a trash bag – so my torso will be wrapped in plastic and I will sweat more – and then go running. I always try to coordinate the ten-mile running portion of my ten-hour exercise routine with sunset, so I can finish by running west past the playing fields of Knight’s Park, where, as a kid, I played baseball and soccer.
As I run through the park, I look up and see what the day has to offer in the way of divination.
If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying, because I know that while things might seem dark now, my wife is coming back to me soon. Seeing the light outline those fluffy puffs of white and gray is electrifying. (And you can even re-create the effect by holding your hand a few inches away from a naked lightbulb and tracing your handprint with your eyes until you go temporarily blind.) It hurts to look at the clouds, but it also helps, like most things that cause pain. So I need to run, and as my lungs burn and my back rebels with that stabbing knife feeling and my leg muscles harden and the half inch of loose skin around my waist jiggles, I feel as though my penance for the day is being done and that maybe God will be pleased enough to lend me some help, which I think is why He has been showing me interesting clouds for the past week.
Since my wife asked for some time apart, I’ve lost more than fifty pounds, and my mother says that soon I’ll be at the weight I was when I played varsity soccer in high school, which is also the weight I was when I met Nikki, and I’m thinking maybe she was upset by the weight I gained during the five years we were married. Won’t she be surprised to see me looking so muscular when apart time is over!
If there are no clouds at sunset – which happened yesterday – when I look up toward the sky, orange fire enters my skull, blinds me, and that’s almost as good, because it burns too and makes everything look divine.
When I run, I always pretend I am running toward Nikki, and it makes me feel like I am decreasing the amount of time I have to wait until I see her again.
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