Fiction from NER 40.4 (2019)
So when Hannah’s mother appears to be present and listening Hannah says, “So I wanted to tell you that I’m non-binary.”
Hannah has read it’s a myth that sharks will die if they stop moving forward but chooses to believe in it anyway. If it was allowed, Hannah’s driver’s license would say: Clark, Hannah—Height: 5′5″, Hair: Blond, Eyes: Blue—A Shark.
HANNAH IS FASTER THAN YOU
This morning, every morning, Hannah wakes up at 5:50 to run. Through four municipalities, from the unsightly traffic of Medford, Massachusetts, along the Mystic River into north Cambridge, onto the bike path through Arlington to Lexington. Not up to usual pace today. No clear reason, except maybe an odd pain in the sole of the right foot. Hannah starts to feel something like resentment or anxiety, which brings up anxiety about talking to Mom later today, which settles into a general high, weird pall over the day’s
Around mile seven a man passes from behind, and the feeling hardens into hatred and points right at him. Hardly anyone passes Hannah anymore, but those who do are always men. Hannah hates his basketball shorts and his crew socks pulled all the way up, hates his earbuds and the phone he holds in his hand. Hannah wants to stop him and say, I just wanted you to know that you’ve done nothing to deserve your body and I’m actually faster than you. Hannah watches his shoes bobbing slowly away on the pavement ahead and wants to say, You piece of shit asshole motherfucker. Still running, Hannah wants to push him to the ground and spew abuse too vile for words onto his face, to vomit black acid from deep in the gut at him, acid to burn the skin.