For a while, my son Athen hung out with a girl. They did their homework on the living room floor. Sometimes, they whispered. He was telling her something. I came in the room once, and Athen jumped like I’d interrupted an intimate moment, so I smiled. It was perfectly natural to like a girl.
The girl went home. Now, Athen comes upstairs with a boy, the two of them shoulder-to-shoulder, a smell sharp as animals that have paddled an ocean. They prop their skateboards against a wall near the door. The other boy has a smudge across his cheek. Athen asks if we have sodas.