to build oneself up through another’s body

(a glossary)

apparent (adj.): helping one avoid committing himself to facts

awe (n.): admiration boys feel for older boys

backyard (n.): a place where neighborhood children spend their summers

basketball (n.): a sport played on concrete

chase (v.): to pursue a moving target

coalesce (v.): to come together

coerce (v.): to force one to agree to something

common (adj.): happening all the time

confess (v.): to reveal a part of the world which, through the keeping, has become part of oneself

dare (v.): to challenge to act unwillingly

darkness (n.): (from a bed) the void one sees after turning off the lights

ephemeral (adj.): fleeting — but sometimes memorable

evolve (v.): to change, step-by-step, over time, not always for the better

finger (n.): a part of a hand that touches

flowering (n.): a process whereby bright colors surprise the eye

fondle (v.): to caress as an act of ownership

game (adj.): pretending to be up for something

girls (pl. n.): whom boys talk about in a teenage darkness

H-O-R-S-E (n.): a pickup game that one’s friends turn into a dare

incredulous (adj.): unable or unwilling to believe — but especially unwilling

innocent (adj.): without knowledge, knowledge being a blemish

jeans (n.): denim pants that are easily removed

liar (n.): one who protects himself

male (n.): one who is expected to compete

malicious (adj.): acting out of insecurity

masculine (adj.): strong or forceful

mask (v.): to cover up or disguise

nakedness (n.): the state of being utterly without

pact (n.): an agreement made out of ambition

privilege (n.): an advantage one gets used to holding after time

quiet (adj.): the opposite of what is expected

respect (n.): admiration earned via an act of conquest

secret (n.): a fact that everyone at school talks about

self-esteem (n.): the worth one has attached to purpose

sexualize (v.): to build oneself up through another’s body

shadow (v.): to sharpen one’s voice while obscuring his face

shower (n.): a place of reflection

sleeplessness (n.): a state of intense happiness, else true despair

snowball (v.): to get steadily worse over time

stereotype (v.): to assume based on cultural ignorance

virginity (n.): (Am. slang) a birth defect

waver (v.): what one’s voice does when he denies a secret

Stef Orzech lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York. You can read more of his work here on Medium.

Photo: sunlight cardigan, “I want you to stay” (2012). Unedited.

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