steric hindrance

Even the rigidness in his fingers has taken years to develop. Now, the speed at which he can snatch them, as a single block, into his palm, is astonishing. A split second of machine-gun fire that prompts even emeritus professors to rise from their chairs. Not that he ever looks at these ageing academics. His head twists away, his flickering gaze goes beyond the window and he thinks of his mother; how proud she would have been to find him here, in this college, leading a discussion of eminent thinkers. [For pity’s sake, what is this shit?] Suddenly miserable, his arm drops to his side and hangs limp by his hip. He becomes aware of the slump in his body, of the plump flesh he has tried so hard to harden. His fingers twitch. They move to his head and into his hair, scrunching and squeezing until his palms are sticky with pomade. As the professor continues to talk, the chair is thinking about the muscles in his upper arms, and the shortness of his T-shirt sleeves, and the shave he gave his face yesterday evening. He hates his habits of masculinity, yet he knows they are the very reason he can operate as he does. [STFU! B**ch!] He softens. His fingers curl down, and the professor obediently bends his knees, evaporating into audience matter once more. The chair strokes his chin, then the screen of the i-Pod that is resting on his penis from inside his trouser pocket, then he points to a woman seated most uncomfortably beneath a white board. ‘Get up, get up,’ he snaps, while looking over her head to the words on the whiteboard. And she’s up, erect, ready to salute. But she has seen the size of the audience now, and is aware of the chair’s disinterest in her interjection, and discovers at this late moment that she can only manage to whisper the words that are supposed to form some sentence around the words culture and capital. She knows she wants to weep, or to run and then to weep, but she also knows that if she moves she’ll be shot, so she speaks to the crumbs (that fell from her sandwich earlier) on the turquoise carpet between her sandals, and prays to God that no one hears her. [No one did, you f***ing f***er. And this is s***t, anyway. I mean, s**t anyway.]

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