Midafternoon at the gym. Over the weekend, due to some little games with the Grey Prince, I've picked up a bit of what I'm internally referring to, with a smirk, as road rash. Between the ribs on my back, the skin has been mostly protected from the abrasions. The raised skin over the ribs has been whipped until it's streaked and dotted with purple. I'm striated, vivid. It's almost entirely painless, except for the bruising on the side of my neck and breasts, but I look like a torture victim. I wore a sweater to the gym, but I overheated a bit, forgot, and stripped down to my tank top. As I pass from the ellipticals to the water fountain, I find myself walking next to two sorority types. Sotto voce, one of them says to the other, "Oh my god, look at her back. Megan, look at her back." Megan says, softly, "Oh my god."
I hold my face expressionless until they've rounded the corner. Then I allow myself the faintest of smiles.