This Kind of Girl

She gets out of the tub, still naked and dripping, while she clears a space in the steamy mirror with a towel. She looks at what she has to work with. Scrutinizing. Another vocabulary word. Words to describe words to describe . . . herself. Her breasts aren’t big or round—just all right—but her face looks new to her and better than it used to. Her eyes don’t seem so small for her nose, and her mouth is still big—too big—but since Scott Martinson started calling her “Lips” at school she doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing. She scrubs a bigger circle in the mirror and steps as far back as she can, another foot or so, to try to see how proportionate she is. She turns and twists to get a view of her backside. She decides that all things considered, if she were a horse, for example, she wouldn’t be too badly put together. Pretty well-balanced. Decent, anyway. She’s looked herself over this way since her father first taught her about conformation, at a yearling sale in Ogden when she was ten. It’s not exactly the same thing in people as it is in horses but pretty close. You can usually see in a foal what it could be as a two-year-old and, lately, she feels safer after she’s made certain that she has a woman’s body. Maybe not safe exactly. Maybe not safe so much as sure.

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