It is summertime and I am 14 years old. We are sitting against a pillar in the Tenleytown Metro station, watching the trains go by. The cool stone tunnel reminds me of a fallout shelter or a mechanical womb.

He has his knees pulled up to his body. I'm marvelling at the length of his legs, the way his feet are tapping, his rumpled grace.

(I'm amazed, even now, by people who look hot in dirty white T-shirts).

Neither of us say anything. He's so close I can feel the heat coming off of him and I want to touch him but I'm scared so I start picking at my shoelaces instead.

And then suddenly he's holding my hand. Smiling at me, that "I know more than you do" kind of smile.

Do you want to?

I knew what he meant but I pretended I didn't and waited for a very long time and then something snapped and I knew it was inevitable--fuck, I hope I don't get sick.

It goes all the way down my spine I think I just went to some strange country where everything is slick, warm and red.

Wait a minute! What the hell is that in my mouth? Oh gross, that's a tongue and it's not mine.


Upon reflection I think I could get used to it. I kinda like its gymnastics.

He pulls away and looks at me. I feel like I've just stepped out of time but I don't let on.