: Perfect Silence :

an excerpt by A. G. Harmon

They are telling Tony that he cannot wear the clothes he is wearing. They surround him, just outside the men's locker room, and require that he step aside, so that others–dressed properly-can come and go.

Tony is short, slight, spectacled, with broad-set eyes. A downy mustache traces his top lip; swags of moppish hair graze his collarbones. They, on the other hand, are tall and wide-shouldered, with clean-shaven faces and bristly-tipped crew cuts. Tony is all in black: T-shirt, shorts, runner's watch; they are all in black, too. He wears white running shoes with black stripes, as do they.

“But 'Fitness' doesn't mean what it does on your shirts,” Tony tries to explain. “I mean, it's something I like, not something I do for a living. It's something I-aspire to. I want to be fit. I don't mean it like-“