Fri 17 Oct, 2008
A drizzle was starting to fall as she cleared her ninth lap.
As her shoes thumped against the cushioned track, she thought about the small of Yin May’s back through the gown, creamy white and seductively carved. She took a glance at her own dark, swinging arms. There had been times when she wanted to run to Yin May from behind and strangle her hard, so that blood would cease like a tide and her tongue would stick out in death. She knew they were so completely different there was no reason, no room for comparison. Still, each time she rediscovered perfection in Yin May, she felt a surge uncontrollable. Other times, she felt like killing herself.
She was used to being comfortable as the tomboy. Once, in her teens, she was forced to join an event, where she first discovered the joy of running. In running she could calm her mind and tighten every fibre in her muscles and deny everything else. In running she would forget about the boy who saw her as a mate, about her grades that condemned, about the girls who alienated. She became one with running, the act of collecting all the energies in her existence and focusing them on one thing: forward. But these days, she felt pain even in running.
She had been proud of her figure, golden and compact and an embodiment of sustained strength. But the first sense of inadequacy surged again when she was introduced to her roommate. The miraculous curves that drew even her breath, the vulnerability and purity suggested by that supple fairness – that was a woman. Not her, not this hybrid of sexes, the narrow hips and chest flat like a teenager. She ran harder and longer each day. Running was the only thing that had supported her, and she needed it now. She must not, at this point, be put down again. And then she thought about the muscular plates on a man, greased and hard and oozing masculinity. And she could not imagine putting her boy of a body on top of it. She could only press Yin May’s soft, inviting flesh against it. The perfect blend of Man and Woman.
The drizzle had escalated now, pelting her hard in atypical cruelty. Transposing strength from pain, she took off in a concluding sprint.
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