Friday, September 3, 2010

On a Summer Night (part two)

So there we in our sleeping bags out under the stars in my back yard. I don’t remember our conversation ending, it’s just that there were longer and longer pauses between his comments and mine. As the pauses grew longer, I grew sleepier. But I know I wasn’t dreaming when my friend did something I didn’t understand then and still don’t fully understand now.

Just now I googled definitions for the word “tousle” and here’s what I got: “Tousle, to make something (especially a person’s hair) untidy. She reached up behind his head and gave his hair a tousle.”

That’s the word for it. My friend, my male friend, my 15-year-old active-in-the-LDS church male friend, had reached over and was tousling my hair. Maybe he thought I was asleep. Maybe he was just curious about what my hair felt like, but I know this: It wasn’t an accident.

It wasn’t just a single tousle that could be explained by a sleepy involuntary stretch that just happened to graze the top of my head. He tousled my hair deliberately and fairly slowly. It wasn’t just a few strokes for a few seconds. He went from my forehead to the back of my head several times.

I didn't realize it at the time, but as I've thought about it over the years, he was touching me in a very loving and affectionate way, or at the very least in a most curious, exploratory way. It was totally chaste in way, like petting a dog, but in another way it was also incredibly sexually charged because his fingers were in my hair, and he was a 15-year-old boy who was touching another 15-year-old boy as they slept out under the stars on a warm summer night. At least that's how I see it NOW as a married man and father.

But back then, as an inexperienced lad, I wondered what was going on, and I wondered what I should say or whether to say anything. What I decided to do may surprise you, or perhaps you’ve already guessed. To be continued.


  1. Growing up stories seen from a new perspective area always so interesting on the MoHo blogs. . .

  2. "What I decided to do may surprise you, or perhaps you’ve already guessed..."

    ...You playfully tousled his hair in return and you both started laughing and brushed it off with embarrassed chuckles?

    ...You slowly woke up and asked him: "What do you think you're doing?" as he immediately slid back into his sleeping bag?

    ...Your reflexes got the best of you and you slugged him in the nose?

    ...You brought your arm around him and gave him a big kiss?

    ...You pretended to stay asleep but you agonized all night wondering what the tousle meant?

  3. None of the above, but very good guesses. Stay tuned.