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From Can You Hear Me Running? –


LOUISE.   Dawn breaks, the day of the marathon arrives. My stomach is knotted, I’ve hardly slept, I slurp a bowl of porridge and another and three bowls of porridge later –

And I’m on the tube, a pair of trainers with all the other trainers, riding the tube on a tidal wave of hope.

At the meeting point I have to wee in the female urinal, down a cardboard shoot, my bottom is exposed, there’s a line of bare female bottoms.

And then I am running? 

Can you hear me running?

I’m running in the London Marathon, it’s my first time, sound of cheering crowds, relatives whooping.

I’m part of it, here I am a runner.

Can you hear me breathing?

I am breathing with the pack, we’re a huge panting life force, I’m caught in the marathon void, it’s pulling me ahead.

We are running over the river, over the River Thames, a helicopter whirring above, the thudding of trainers, flapping costumes, I’m catching up Batman in black, (to Batman) you must be roasting, I’m passing him; goodbye Batman! Keep running Batman! We turn a corner and the crowd cheers, I’m running in red,

My Dar will be watching on the the TV, propped up in bed.

Lampposts, crowds, steady pummelling of soles.

A faint drizzle, looks like rain, another corner to navigate, a street to cross-

Suddenley I’m sinking, what if I stop running? The crowds are cheering…