King of the Night Time World

“Come live your secret dream…” 

My eighth grade teacher explained to us, separated from our female peers, that it’s okay to masturbate. That we shouldn’t feel shame- that it’s normal human behavior. Later, on the playground, we collectively processed this information; we were uncomfortable. We accused one another of being masturbators. Each boy denied this accusation with vehemence; each boy except Teddy. Teddy stood with defiance; he refused to engage; he thought talking about it was “gay.” He would neither confirm nor deny his status as masturbator. Later that night- in a remote part of town, behind the neighborhood water tower, where a teenager could explore the night time world without invasive eyes- in the shadow of an older brother’s car headlights, a struggle session took place. Dave was never happy with the unresolved. Things got tense. Knowledge of truth’s existence will demand its reveal by way of invisible forces and self-perpetuating inertia. Even still, Teddy refused to budge. Later that night we listened to Metallica while looking at his collection of Playboy magazines.

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