28 January 2013


The lecture hall filled up quickly at five minutes before the hour. The staff walked up and down the side isles speaking to fire hazards. I settled in for fifty minutes of James Joyce with fellow students pressed against my body.

All was going well but for our elbows when his ankle touched mine right where our socks left bare skin. The full arm contact and his leg against mine had no effect on me but this was different. This was in the dark below the desk. This was my ankle.

I slipped a glance under his eyelashes, schooling myself on how I was being American and misinterpreting something. Surely I was. I repeated all the talks I'd been given on the reserved outer crust of the British populace and how I had to be careful or be thought a slut. His shoulders gave nothing away, neither did his eyebrows which remained in their bored yet interested line. I moved my foot away, still distracted. Two minutes later his ankle was again touching mine. He'd taken advantage of the extra room to spread out.

Such a little thing. My ankle.It's nothing to someone who has grown up on an island continent where the flats are small and the cars are smaller. Ankles are for supporting weight. Such a big thing to someone used to fields and forests and other people who are as well. Ankles are for flirtation.

I lost track of the lecture.

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