Interval Training

First I was drilling holes in the drywall to anchor a dresser that should not topple onto my daughter, though chances of her being in my room alone any time soon are low. Chances of a falling dresser are higher. Ask Ikea. The drill bit wasn’t quite large enough, the brackets not quite close enough to the wall because the wall wasn’t quite perpendicular to the floor, the screws stripped. In short, someone with intent could rip the dresser off the wall. Intent and, I hope, a body mass of at least 35 pounds, which gives me time.

Next I brought my compostable scraps to the compost pile in the back of the house that is no longer mine, though I consider the yard still my garden, just with someone else’s house in the middle of it. Asters, violets, columbine, even little bluestem and goldenrod made their way into the world. What do they know of premature spring? After that, I lingered to borrow the wireless that was mine in name only to find some FSA form I needed, which first required a username reminder and a password reset, which caused me to run late.

Literally. I ran and walked to my appointment. Unintentional interval training on what was supposed to be a rest day. Even though I keep reading about the benefits of short, intense bursts of exercise, I never mean to do it. 

On the way, I passed an apartment I had looked at a few days before Christmas, when we had first traveled separate ways, or my wife and daughter had traveled and I had not. Historic red brick and limestone from the outside, mold stains on the ceiling and water damage down the walls on the inside. The adjacent apartment, the leasing agent said, was occupied by a writer who loved the old south-facing windows. For a love of old windows and a lack of money there is the writer, the mold, the water stains, and the gas stove large enough only to blow up an apartment this size. “The laundry is in the neighboring building,” the agent added, which apparently didn’t mean the literally adjacent building: “walk straight two blocks, cross the street, turn right, and go into the basement of that building. You can kind of see it from here.” 

This apartment viewing was also interval training. A sudden burst of one emotion, followed by quiescence or change. 

This morning, I could drill the holes because my daughter was not with me. She had been with me all day Sunday, and slept over Sunday night for the first time. Eager as I was to deposit her at daycare Monday morning, I felt strange this morning to have no haste, no near disasters. A surge and emptiness. My emotions do interval training now. My heart will presumably never be healthier.


Richmond, VA

Mark Meier writes, teaches, and makes things.

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