Work is the only place I'm tempted to take my clothes off in public. My dress pants begin to itch if I sit at my cubicle for too long. I tug at the leg parts to give my knees breathing room, and scratch at whatever chemical blend has woven into the cotton of my blouse.
I walk down the aisle to the printer, the carpet as gray as my pants, the lighting as false as the makeup on my face. The aisle is long and curves around like the track at the gym. I step out of my flats, tear the sleeves off my blouse, pull my hair back with a binder clip and run. My stockings tear with each footfall and my toes, freed from the suffocation of nylon, squeeze the carpet feeling for grass. My feet don't rest until I'm out the door, momentarily satistfied to kiss the parkinglot pavement that has kissed the sun, but no, not the right one, and they pedal faster to the park where tired mothers push babies in strollers. In their half-sleep, I breeze past them, a peach-colored She Hulk, clothes in tatters, grimacing at the mowed lawn, the clear-cut path. The ground feels like nylon, like an itchy gray cotton-polyester blend tight at the knees, and I tear through it, my naked feet feeling for the tangle of forrest floor, the estranged lover coming home.