On the Run
By Crystal Stuvland

As a child you ran everywhere you went. Running was your only speed, your only means of communication. Fighting meant a footrace, so did friending. Hi-my-name-is _____. Wanna race?
You raced outside of church in the gravel parking lot; you raced at the county fair, through the sheep pens; you raced on trails in the woods and from the fence to the barn, the barn to the house. You met untrustworthy boys in jean jackets; you raced them and sometimes you won, but never because they let you win.
Now that you are grown, you shuffle places—you amble. You have your earphones. No one challenges you to a race. You make friends somehow, by being polite and interested in roughly the same things, but you don’t want to compete with these people. You don’t play or fight—you exist somewhere separately.
The only way you use your body to communicate now is by fucking, which you do quietly and infrequently because it’s often not worth the trouble of being real. You are afraid of someone knowing your body better than you, afraid that it will make you competitive, that sex will become a race.
So you run.

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Crystal recently graduated with a B.A. in English and is now making her way to Latin America to teach English. She lives in a storage closet and is scared of getting stuck in any one place. Writing is how she thinks.

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