Your feet. You used to be so fast. God, you were fast. Remember that? And it felt like nothing, how fast you were. You’d run anywhere. Well, that’s gone now.
Your hands. The first time the two of you held hands–the first time that anyone, ever, had tried to hold your hand, the first time anyone had expressed the slightest bit of interest in what your hands might feel like–it was like every one of your fingertips carried its own pulse. It was impossible, how often your palms would find each other, how their thumbs would trace your wrists, leaving behind a trail of heat so palpable you’d swear to God everyone else could see it. Also for the mild carpal tunnel syndrome, which is only going to get worse, never better.
Your back. You never even used to notice you had one. That is the best a human back can possibly feel: nonexistent. You notice it always, now. You manage it. You coax it. You stretch and knead it in a constant, useless apology. It’s sorry, too.
Your knee (left). The way it hurts in the morning is completely and wholly unlike the way it hurts in the evening, like the clot of pain there has two supervisors who trade shifts. “Morning, Ralph.” “Morning, Frank.”
Your ankle (also left). It pops, now, almost every time you flex your foot or climb the stairs, which drives you crazy. Crazier than it should. It shouldn’t need to keep popping. Whatever function popping could possibly serve should certainly have been fulfilled right now. It’s stupid, and it’s small, and it’s nothing really, but if it’s going to keep popping like this every day for the rest of your life you don’t think you can handle it. Not that you have any other options.
Your brain. For letting any of this come to you as a surprise. For letting you think that the passage of time is something that’s only happening to you, or that it’s happening on purpose.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.