In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Aaron: A Novel-in-Progress
  • Alphonzo Morgan (bio)

By the time he was thirteen and found himself sitting next to Tony Bias in Civics class, he had already realized the severity of his addiction. He thought about boys all the time—and men. He had masturbated looking at the men’s underwear section of a Montgomery Wards catalog that had been delivered to the house for his mother. The symmetry of the lines stamped into those stomachs and the lean power of those tan legs jutting out of the white briefs and boxers had kept his attention for hours. He had kept the catalog under his bed for weeks, until the paranoia that someone would find it there became too much. He threw the thing away rather than risk the chance that his mother would notice it creased open to that page. He knew he could never unmask himself, never tell how he felt, but his attraction to boys was so integral to his existing, to his feeling anything, he thought. It was so much of what he felt in total. It wasn’t that he wanted the feeling to go away—it felt good: the passion, the infatuation he felt for boys, the desire to see and to touch their bodies. But he just did not see how he could ever work these feelings into his reality. He wasn’t attracted sexually to girls at all. Beautiful women hypnotized him with their grace and femininity, and he liked the sensitivity and sensibilities of girls, but he didn’t want to sleep with them, for God’s sake. But then he wasn’t sure he wanted to have sex, per se, with other boys either. He had heard, by this time, that gay boys fucked each other in the ass: an idea that didn’t turn him on at all. Besides, he had decided at this point that the guys who did this were all like the fags he had learned to hate—pussies. He had resigned himsef to a life of celibacy and clandestine masturbation. But in the meantime, he was sitting three feet away from the cutest boy in the eighth grade.

When Mr. Thomas had told the class that they needed to copy the information he had written on the board, Tony had leaned over and asked Aaron if he could borrow a piece of paper. Naturally, Aaron had obliged, and they started cracking jokes on Mr Thomas’s too-tight clothes and oblong bald spot. Over the course of the next few weeks the two became inseparable, Tony evidently not realizing that his new best friend, though good-looking and well-dressed, was nowhere near his own social stratosphere. Aaron wasn’t a nerd, exactly; he was more a loner, and for the most part didn’t participate in the mandatory grouping patterns of J.H.S. 137. But Tony loved Aaron for his wit and quiet ways, the few words he said always cutting right to the chase of things, and always said over an ambiguous half-grin. Aaron was cool and reserved, and somehow seemed above the fray of teenage angst. In actuality, Aaron was far from above it, and went home from school every day dizzy with thoughts of [End Page 76] Tony’s dash and charisma. He ruled over the rest of the kids, and was, by all accounts, and perhaps by some fluke of fate, his. His. Everyone knew that Tony was his, and the special clenched-fist pound they gave each other every time they met or parted company sealed their status as boys to the rest of the world. They would talk on the phone and go to dances and play basketball after school, and when Tony spent the night at his house, he would sneak looks at his smooth, hairless body. In private, he would fantasize about Tony: not sex fantasies exactly, but he would visualize the bronzed tan skin and slanted eyes and imagine what it would be like to touch him. Not the way they touched each other normally—and they were very tactile, hands always on each other’s backs and shoulders, or patting each...

Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 76-81
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.