I noticed it. I lost my focus for just a handful of seconds. I don’t know why I did, but I did. Everyone round the circle was held in rapt attention by the person speaking.
Ok, truth be told, it’s not like I hadn’t noticed before. Karla has brought it to my attention more times than I could count. She points it out because it is annoying. She used to be nice about it. But too many years have elapsed, so now she gruffly says something like, “Stop! Stop shaking the table!” as she repositions herself away from me.
Even my kids have joined in the family chant. Not long ago I was driving Mary and Zion to something. While sitting at a light, Zion pipes up from the back row, “Dad, stop! You’re shaking the whole car!” So I am well aware of my irksome tendency.
Ok, back to the circle and the thing noticed.
What strikes me in the moment is my legs are flapping like a flag in a windstorm storm. But It’s not that only. What I notice in this moment is not so much me, but them. For the first time I notice I’m the only one round the circle whose legs are shaking. I’m conscious no one else is sprinting in place. Evidently, no one else experiences the energy coursing through their body that’s coursing through mine, an energy venting through my extremities.
Why do my legs thresh? Because of the throbbing ache when they are still. The energy coursing through my body cannot be contained. My body knows what it must do to compensate for the discomfort. My legs shake because they have to.
Again why are my legs shaking? You’ve no doubt heard of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS); it’s a real neurological condition. I tried to see someone about it, but their next appoint wasn’t for 9 months. Do I have RLS? I don’t yet know. My legs are restless that much I do know. I also know t’s a pain, and that, in both senses.
It’s a pain, first, because it hurts. My body is fatigued. Wagging your legs all day leaves them wearied and sore, but with little relief. And when I climb into bed the motion ceases but the ache doesn’t.
On the other hand, it’s also a pain because it affects the people around you. Because it’s isolating. Because it’s frustrating. Because it’s embarrassing. What does it mean, this continual motion?
Legs moving incessantly
Energy surging through my body
Wait maybe I’m a superhero