My older cousin Susan was Kevin and my babysitter on Saturdays while my parents were at work. A couple of weeks after I was at David’s all she talked about was this boy in her class. “He’s so cute. He sits in the row next to me. I just can’t take my eyes off of him,” and on and on she went.
I thought it would make me seem more like the teenager I so much wanted to be if I added my experiences to the conversation; at any rate, I started to tell her about David. “There’s this boy in my class that I think is cute too.” That was all the farther I got before she got this horrified look on her face and said very loudly with a certain amount of disgust, “Boys don’t think other boys are cute.”
I couldn’t help it. I still didn’t think David and I were doing anything wrong.
“They do if their queer.”
Her mouth flew open like I had just said a cuss word or something.
“Where did you learn about queers?”
“I don’t know.”
I could tell she didn’t know if she believed me or not. But I kept on sitting there looking at her until she decided to say something.
“Well I don’t ever want to hear you say that word again!”
And I didn’t, except with David. He didn’t understand either what the big deal was. We knew we liked each other and what was wrong with that?
I studied David whenever I could. I knew exactly how he walked, with a wiggle that made the wool pants of our military school uniform outline what I considered a beautiful sight.
Besides my eyes watching him, my nose knew his scent, my ears the way his heels dragged just a little when he walked, my taste buds remembered when we kissed.
He became the main character in the stories I made up when I lied in my bed with my hands under the covers.