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Midwinter, we walk around the block to the corner store to buy ice cream. A pint for you and a pint for me. We will eat all of our ice cream while watching those sexy pirate movies and you will not get bored of the way I sigh and lust after all the main characters. We are celebrating; my first appointment for hormone replacement therapy is in the books. I feel like I am going to burst open and my guts will shimmer with steam for everyone in the city to see.

We buy our ice cream and trek back, eyes on the slushy sidewalk to avoid stepping in dogshit and catshit and there, on the short end of our block, there’s a longshit. “That looks like poop from a man,” I say.

I look up and on the corner stands a punk rock boy breaking the sludgy ice on his stoop with a shovel. I begin to feel that old, familiar tug just above my navel. Another punk rock boy emerges from a doorway to the building and then a third rounds the corner, like they’re the fucking Newsies. Like Little Orphan Annie’s home for socially distorted, bad-brained misfits.

I want to say, “I’m a lost boy too!” I want to say, “Take me with you. Teach me to fly. I want to fall in love with Wendy and have all the rest of it, too.”

Instead, I change my pint of ice cream from one thirty-two-year-old hand to the other.

“Poop from a man?” you say, oblivious to these boys swarming my sights. “That sounds like the title of a novel.” I smile and I hop over another bit of shitsludge on the sidewalk. “No, it’s my memoir,” I say.

Meanwhile, my shadow has unstitched from my soles and is running headlong towards someplace I’ve never yet been.