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Thirsty in West Virginia

It has been six days since I’ve made a concerted effort to exercise. When fresh water is a fantasy, you don’t do much to move. If you increase your heart rate, you sweat. And when you sweat – you stink. For someone who is living in a time of constantly reevaluating her smelliness threshold, praying her standards don’t sink too low, the prospect of precipitating that stink is too much. Plans are abandoned.

But today, even with clean water waiting on an unimaginable horizon, I started moving. Not because of a newfound Freedom, but out of a newborn desperation. You see, when you have no confidence in a drink from the tap and no chance of washing your hands to satisfaction and no control over when that situation will change, you create a sort of prison for yourself. A couch-shaped prison.

And so I moved, I danced for an hour or more, catharsis found in my not caring about precipitating that stink. But I made sure to stay close to my sponge bath opportunities, the time would inevitably come when I would need to “clean” myself. I say “clean” because, these days, “cleaning” involves a camping-inspired strategy for hygiene. I wiped down my face and body. I blow-dried my hair, hoping the salty sweat would soak up some of the oil building there. The movement stayed with me.

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