Chapter 1: Introductions.

Squinting out into the bright, sunny day time, one couldn’t believe it was already 7:30 in the evening. People were still going about their midday activities; mowing their dry, brittle lawns, walking numerous dogs with varying levels of yelping and excitability, ranging from the jumping, sniffing, young pups, to the slow drag of the elderly, as uninterested in their repetitive routes as humans now are to them. A young girl ran past, panting slightly in the humid air. She wasn’t fat, but was definitely not a gym-bunny either, with her slightly protruding stomach stuffed into men’s bicycle shorts, the crotch of which was falling further down her legs, in rhythm to her irregular steps as she pounds the pavement.

   She’s probably trying to get that famous ‘summer body’ the magazines always talk about, stuffing her face three quarters of the year, and then realising it’s far too hot to wear an oversized jumper come July. 

As the girl came closer, her beauty became apparent. Not the beauty glorified by fashion models and movie directors, but rather the subtle beauty of possibility. Leo shook his head. There is no objective description of her beauty, it wasn’t on the placement of her facial features, nor was there anything special in her tall, relatively slim physique. It was rather, in her air, only added to by the falling crotch on her shorts and the bright reddy-ginger of her hair, as if she wasn’t able to decide what colour she wanted to go next.

Without noticing him, the girl jogged past, down the alleyway next to the house, her wheezy panting heard long after she was out of sight. Leo turned back into the brightness and continued to squint angrily into the weeds and the broken TV’s strewn across the surrounding lawns. The girls lowering crotch danced across the insides of Leo’s eyelids with every blink, the empty flapping material seeming to slow down in his mind, as so it matched his own quickening heartbeat. Did she used to be a man? Was that what was so magical about her adequacy? Not likely, concluded Leo, it was far more probable that those shorts belonged to her boyfriend, or brother or something. But still, the probability that she had crossed one of the few definite lines in nature caught all his breath in his throat. Not that he ever wanted to cross that line himself, but just the idea that yet another distinction between genders has disintegrated in the name of science could only result in the true definition of personal, philosophical freedom. True our classes may be stagnant, and our religions keep us apart, but in a world where a mans man can also be a lady, the arbitrary decision made by biology at our birth can be overruled by us, those who have to live within our own lives. As Leo pondered further, he thought of his rond-da-vue with that 17 year old boy from Brighton. At least, he said he was 17. Brighton boy’s beautiful buttocks and shocking cheekbones can still be seen, imprinted on Leo’s right palm. His inexperience did make Leo wonder, but whatever. On his Tindr, in says 17, so legally it’s all good. Hopefully.

With an exasperated sigh, Leo folded away his chair and shoved it in the crack between the shed and the house. You can’t leave anything that even somewhat resembles a weapon in this neighbourhood. Or any neighbourhood for that matter nowadays. As he shuffled into the house, waiting for his vision to adjust to the darkness of the eternal squalor he called home, that empty material of the bicycle shorts came back into his mind. Was there anything that can capture the libido, like the possibility to let your imagination run wild? Confusion and fear began to trickle down his spine, as the sand falls down the hour glass.

These thoughts can not be normal, he considered as fear continued to fill his insides. This can not be how everyone thinks, feels? Or is everyone as confused and lonely as him? Somehow he doubted it.

   Leo was, at least for now, all alone.


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