Jacket on, my fingers reach for the latch which leads me to the other side of the door which would take me outside. Its arrival is always sudden, sometimes a surprise, yet routine as the seasons, pumping through my veins like a sullen child dragging me back, like a whining child unwilling to go outside. Out loud, I say you can do this, it's just laziness, but the tainted blood shoots needles through my heart. I call myself a coward, recall the feats of my youth, the heights attained, the dangers faced and erased, yet my feet refuse to move and my hand is stayed inches from the door. I say to myself, I can do this can't I? Silence but for the hard beat of my heart. I repeat: Can I do this today? No, yet I trip over the reply, doubting my level of intent, feeling shame, even as the shudders wither my brain - even as the room sways. I need milk and a dozen other things. Please let me do this today. No. The reply comes from deep inside. No no no. I back away, back to safety, back to my lair, my table, my chair. Defeated, I glare at the cars passing by beneath the grey horizon. Milk, vegetables and eggs will wait another day.
©Jane Paterson Basil