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shame

23 Oct

Magician was holding me, sort of, on the couch in his living room because his parents weren’t home and there’s not much else you can do when you’re playing a video game. In the game, you have a ball that you roll around the planet gathering things. The object is to gather the most things on your ball. And I was fascinated by the game because it was cute and because it seemed like the kind of thing I should enjoy if I wanted to be cute myself. And I’d think of it years later and miss it and feel sad about the letter I wrote to Magician during class that meant I’d never play it again. He explained the controller and I asked him to tell me things that no one else knew, and he tickled me to be close, I guess, until his dad walked through the front door and he stopped laughing like it was wrong, nearly pushed me away, and turned his attention to the TV screen and his giant ball of stuff. At school he always felt too close, but then, in his home, he was a thousand miles away and I was sitting alone on the floor next to the coffee table as his father walked past thinking it kinder he pretended I wasn’t there. And maybe it was, because I thought I might cry if I wasn’t concentrating on the ball in the game. And I’m glad I wasn’t older, I’m glad I wasn’t twenty-one and angry, that I didn’t mention it again except in a passive-aggressive joke he barely heard. I was only sad, a quiet kind of sad that wouldn’t go away.

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