I was on my bike. I was on my way home from school.
It is a long ride. It is approximately twelve miles, one way, that I do twice a day. It is a lot of bike riding.
I got out early. It was still sunny. There are more bikers out.
There is a man in a full bike kit. He is balancing himself at a red light, feet off the ground, teetering forward and back, perfecting a sense of balance or showing off a trick you can do.
I wait behind him. The light changes. He goes. He is not as fast as I anticipate him being. I go slow still as I see another red light in the near distance.
The light changes and I bike behind him for a stretch. He is slow. He carries no bag, neither on his body nor on his bike. He just has a phone. He doesn’t seem tired. He is not old.
I pass him. I am trying to get home. I have a fairly heavy bag. I am very surprised that I can pass him, overtake him, be faster than him. I do not wear a kit. I wear a Uniqlo spandex shirt and Nike spandex bottoms and Champion sneakers. A biker costume.
I zoom ahead. There is a light. I stop. After a short time that is long enough, the man stops.
“Hey boss,” he calls to me. His voice is deep and masculine. I have heard this voice before in bars and in situations of sports.
I look back. Did I drop something? Is there a hole in my shorts? Is my bike broken?
“You know your shorts are see through, right?”
A little wave of shame comes over me. I let out an uncomfortable string of words – “Thanks. I usually bike at night.” – and I zoom ahead. I keep my bottom tucked to the seat. I can only go so fast but I am still faster than he is.
No one I know has told me and I have biked with people in these clothes. I stop at another light. He stops next to me. Are my shorts see through?
I zoom through the light, my tail still tucked. Are my shorts see through?
I turn off to a side street on my path and pause. He turns off too but lands in front of me. Are my shorts see through?
He zooms ahead, slowly, and I taper my pace. I try not to pass him. Are my shorts see through?
There is another light. He stops. I stop behind him. Are my shorts see through?
We go through the light. There is a small hill. I hate this hill. He is going so slowly. I need to pass him but I do not want to. Are my shorts see through?
He pulls over at the bottom of the hill. He dismounts his bike. He walks up the hill. I speed up and stand as I bike. I go faster and faster and faster. He is behind me, on the sidewalk. Are my shorts see through?
Hey boss, I think. You can eat my entire asshole. Then I consider wearing two pairs of shorts on my next ride. I wonder if he saw my entire asshole. I think about how slow he was. I wonder if no one has had the heart to tell me about my shorts. I think about how he walked up the small hill. I wonder if I should buy new shorts. Are my shorts see through?
I look at my ass in the mirror. I turn a light up brighter. I bend up and down. Are my shorts see through?
Hey boss, rumbles in my head. Hey boss, I think. Hey boss, does not leave me alone, tiny masculine leaning fingers trying to poke around my brain, in between the grooves of what makes me me.
Are my shorts see through? Yes. Then I wear them again the next day.