A few nights ago, I had a complex dream, in which I ran a 5K in 19:06. Perhaps twenty years ago, when I was working out like a fiend, I would have been able to do this, but I am older and 30 lbs. heavier now, so it was an outlandish fantasy, even sleeping. Still, it made me wonder if I was up to even running a mile, now that I have been regularly exercising for several months. So I climbed aboard the Dr. P Memorial Treadmill (it's the machine my father had his fatal heart attack using, so I mentally designate it as such--there's no physical sign on it) the next time I went to the gym, and was pleased to see I could jog two without gasping like an asthmatic fish. Not very fast, but steadily. So, today, after a rest, I ran and speed-walked more than four miles (I was watching a Korean drama serial on Viki on my iPhone, so after the first two miles, I walked to read the subtitles and sprinted during the commercial breaks). Now, I am so sore I can barely move! I've been comforting myself with turkey bacon and sliced Parmesan cheese.
Counselors identify five stages of grief, but for me, there is a sixth: twisted glee. I think Daddy would approve of the manifestation, since though I mimic my mother's voice and gestures, in personality I am my late father's clone. I still appreciate kindly souls who hadn't known of his death expressing sympathy (the loss grows less acute in most respects, but will persist as long as my memories), but the fact that every other day I get at least one piece of junk mail addressed to him is irritating--particularly as he died months before this place was even built! So, I've started to take perverse pleasure in labeling each of these wastes of paper "RTS--Recipient is Dead" in heavy black permanent marker and putting them back in the mailbox for pickup. I wonder how many years his name will persist in the bulk mail databases? It's a really hellish form of worldly eternal life!