By Jeff Harvey

Momma got her first job as a nurse’s aide that summer. She ordered me a pair of jeans from the Montgomery Ward catalogue for seventh grade. Not Lee’s like we always got, but Male, a new brand. The soft material made my butt look full like David Cassidy’s. On the first day of class, I wore them with an orange short-sleeved shirt and a pair of black Chuck Taylors. As I strutted down the hallway past Miss James’ geography class, Benji yelled out, “He don’t even know if he’s a boy or girl. His mom had to sew on a tag so he could remember.” A few kids cackled, but I kept walking with my head held high because I knew what looked right. And Benji still wore the same crewcut from first grade. It was 1971, and we were twelve. Time to get with it.

Jeff Harvey lives in San Diego. His short fiction has appeared in Potato Soup Journal, Salmon Creek Journal, and Moonpark Review. Find him on Twitter @jeffharveysd.

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Pastel and ink sketch digitally collaged onto hand-made Suminagashi printed paper)

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