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"Out of Body"

"Out of Body"
by Christopher Walsh, written Wednesday, 8/9/2017



I start this when tired.
An afternoon ago, I lifted, gripped, and hauled a fraction of the goods
Contained in what had been the home of friends.
Soon, they'll live elsewhere. For now, their lives are boxed up.
I helped to box up.
Several times I told myself, "Many hands make light work"
(While wondering if that was a Shakespeare line)
And I thought back to move after move after move I did,
As a Navy brat, then as a resident of multiple coasts — college in Oregon, family in Virginia —
Then as a seeker of work in Oregon — somewhere, it's a big state —
And, finally, come 2001, committing to at least a city. Hi, Portland.
Moves, of course, didn't stop. Not for me, not for others.
I've done it again, making other people's move proportionately easier
And earning aches in usually non-aching parts of me.
My body did what it should.
Sweat dripped and seeped,
Pinning sweat and trash particles on my skin;
Soaking up other water so that, eventually, I'd pee;
Thankfully accepting when I drank more water, from the tap, cupped in my hand.
It also accepted a lot of caffeine, from my one other drink.
(I could have had a beer; I decided, this time, no.)
After packing, after getting onto a bus to home,
I was tired to the point of forgetting what day it was.
I've been tireder: tired to the point of what feels like an out-of-body experience,
Like floating,
Disconnected from gravity but not from aches.
In those later cases,
Eventually,
Arms feeling normal again,
My head feels normal again, too,
Aided by knowing: I'd helped.

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