There were five of them altogether, they were boys of a certain age. They shoved each other, called each other names

The oldest boy was sixteen, the youngest just turned thirteen. They called each other douchebag. It didn’t mean anything. 

They lined up like at the barbershop. They lined up like at the fair. They shuffled their feet like they were waiting to go on a ride

The first one, the oldest one, leaned against a tree. A boy who was still in line called out, how was it

They laughed, and shoved each other. Called each other names. A small hand unzipped a canvas flap

The zipper made a purring sound. The next one went inside. The last one, the youngest, dug his toe into the dirt

The others called him pussy. They called him queer and homo. He fake-spit. The last boy went inside. 

They laughed and shoved each other. They snorted and yelled Sow. They yelled Soo-ee, and walked away like they had been on a carnival ride

A small hand closed the tent flap. Bitten nails with glitter polish.

They were boys of a certain age. 

It didn’t mean anything.


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