A group of girls tried to make me pull my dick out in the back of a 6th grade classroom. I was 12 — the week before I’d had a girlfriend. Holding her hand sent secrets surging up my arm. At the end of the school day, we’d walk to the parking lot, where her mother was waiting, and she’d give me her hand one last time. I’d squeeze and smile.
As a boy, you learn how to wrestle, shove, kick, bite, but you never think about being tender.
The last time we held hands, our teacher had put on a movie (Jesus 2000), but everyone in the back of the room watched closely as we interlaced fingers, taking our first steps towards something we’d come to know well, hate, and forget.
When she broke up with me, she said it was because I was too handsy. Then the other girls surrounded me, singing Show us, show us, show us.