I start crying on the drive back from the grocery store because we were looking at wine and vegetables. I start crying, and Jenny, flower that she is, driving her car with me sitting beside her on the right, she reaches over and holds my hand, and I hold hers in return tight because I am crying because of the vegetables, and because of the wine. I am crying because of the vegetables because Jenny eats so healthy, buys all her groceries herself with the money from her jobs, because she has two jobs and I really have none, and I don’t eat vegetables, just rice and bread, but she has two jobs and she uses the money she gets from them to buy healthy food like an adult which I am not because I do not do that. I am crying because of the wine because Jenny knows how to pick out a wine like she knows how to breathe and I hardly even drink because I don’t really like the taste, which makes me feel like I am not an adult because I don’t drink enough alcohol as every adult really does. Jenny eats vegetables and drinks wine, buys the wine first so that she can match the food she buys to the wine because she is an adult who knows things like this which I do not. Jenny is an adult and scampering after her in the grocery store pushing her cart with the vegetables and the wine I feel young and ashamed. Because Jenny is an adult because she has two jobs and because she has had sex with men. Before I met Jenny I had never kissed anyone but my father on the cheek and I had not even ever held hands with someone like an adult although younger people than me have and do do it and have done it and more than hold hands of course and me I am entirely late and I realize it in the grocery store when we are looking at the wines. Before I met Jenny I was a child and I realize in the grocery store that I am still a child now a child though trying to be older seem older feel older but I do not feel like an adult, I feel like a vegetable; I don’t have enough sexual attraction or romantic attraction aesthetic attraction to be a proper human adult hence I am crying. But Jenny holds my hand. But Jenny and I do have sex. It is only after the sex that I realize that I have really not changed since the sex the sex has not changed me or aged me I am not an adult because I have now had sex and kissed Jenny and had my hand held by Jenny, I am an adult because I have eaten the vegetables that she cooks. No I am not an adult. No being an adult is a social construct that changes from century to century also culture to culture. No I am an adult and have been all along. The thing is I have had sex and I thought after I suppose all things shape us at least somewhat and this was something that did do something I did something and I am different now in the months since I have started dating Jenny but neither am I too different either. I start crying and she holds my hand as she drives me around as if she were my mother although I have been mistaken actually for her mother. I start crying and she holds my hand and when she starts to cry I hold her hand too. You know what it’s okay. You know what it’s okay. Her hand tells me You know what it’s okay and my child hand begins to swell with confidence into that of an old old man.
Constance Bougie is an undergraduate English major with focuses in creative writing and LGBTQ+ studies. He/they have previously published poems and short stories in Bramble, Vulture Bones, Polemical Zine, and Passionfruit. He/they edit the queer Victorian lit mag wilde boy. Find more of his/their work at cpbwrites.wordpress.com.