The Men's Movement
The crowded corridors of the school feel different as Matt walks alongside Richie and the lads. They are an advancing phalanx; his comrades at his side. A wave carries him forward inside.
“Ladyboy,” shouts Richie.
She; he looks terrified, misses a step; face slack and unfocused as if she; he were drunk. She; he doesn’t say anything; just tries to keep walking; head down. The lads fan out like a drift net; the corner is a trap.
Matt’s tongue traces the crack in his molar where Richie’s fist had first made his head spin.
He remembers when she; he was just he; blue sky immense over the primary school playground and the way they had both found a place just beyond the dining hall to play Star Wars.
The others are standing back; watching. “Well fucking go on then,” says Richie.
Matt feels like when he fell from the garage roofs; a tiny stomach clench of hope before the fall; seeing the pain to come spread like a map on a table.
He looks at Richie then looks at the she; he. At Sarah. Sarah who used to Paul.
She; he is crying. Each punch gets easier as Richie watches.