When I was 21, I weighed a painful 108 lbs. I had a 26 inch waist. I could not buy anything off the rack unless it was in the Boys department, which I refused to do. It was just embarrassing.
You know how when you're a teenager, all you wanted was to grow up as fast as you could, so that you could live your own life? I wanted it so much, but my body fought it the whole time, resisting each inch, each pound, as if it was some burden to carried, like a humpback, club foot or a heavily jeweled tiara.
Shortly after I turned 21, I made plans to move to a Big City. I didn't know where, but I didn't care. Any Big City with a vibrant scene will do: Chicago. New York. Cincinnati. I didn't care. Get me out of the sticks. I wanted to hear music. I wanted to see the bright lights. I wanted to use a glory hole.
I wanted to get laid, but I found out that my appeal only went to a subset of the gay population that saw M. Butterfly and subsequently fetishized Asians to be some docile, delicate, dramatic diva. Notice the alliteration.
In the Big City I started working out, lifting weights. I ate a lot of eggs, chicken breasts, nuts. Taken pills, supplements and other fart-inducing protein powders. On the outside, my body had gained forty pounds of muscle. But in my head, I didn't gain a ounce. Like a funhouse mirror, the reflection of me was that of a beanpole.
But my wrists are still relic; as if the rest of my body grew up, but my wrists are still that of that an awkward teen. I buy chunky, metallic watches to counter the flimsiness of my wrists. Even now as I type this, my wrists mock me.
Sometimes, in brief flashes of the mirror, I will see the image of myself that others see. But in a blink, that image is gone.