he day my doctor released me from in-patient psych, he said, “Allison, I’ll make you a deal.
As I threaded my sneakers and prepared to keep my promise by jogging home to the apartment I shared with four other Yale grad students, I remembered another deal, the one that started this whole mess.
Our “Boogie Chillen’” nights repeated on an endless dreamy loop those first few months.
When our lips got worn out, he’d tell me mine were so swollen I could pass for Steven Tyler or some other insulting dig that would get me mad enough to hit him or wrestle him to the floor — which is what he really wanted more than anything. The first time my boyfriend tried to lift my shirt, asking me if he could just touch the places my modest one-piece bathing suit concealed, I shut him down and explained the rules governing my morality and chastity.
But what I was seeing as I felt my stomach growl and my nylons riding down my crotch was a puberty miracle.
He had transformed from a skinny, seemingly weak, invisible kid to a lithe, powerful athlete who ran with the joy and abandon of Pheidippides and the irresistible style and charisma of Prefontaine. His natural, fluid, effortless laps over the rolling hills surrounding our neighborhood awed me.