I remember when Avery was afraid of kissing in public and here we are, making out and rolling in the grass as the sun’s going down and the strollers and dogs and kids and teenagers and old people and whoever the fuck else walks by, all the homophobes, whoever they are, and no one says anything or maybe they’re saying something and I don’t care, just go ahead and beat us to a pulp, see if I move from these arms and was that a gasp? I think that was a gasp. Someone says disgusting, and I can feel Avery get tense so we sit up and yes, people are watching, but they turn around, they actually turn around and we look out at the water glowing and sort of flowing, I mean does the Charles River really flow, and Avery says wait, I need to tell you something.
You think you might be gay? It’s okay, it’s okay, Avery, I accept you anyway. Usually I hate the gays, but you are a pretty good kisser...
No, I’m serious. I want to tell you something serious.
Okay, serious, I’m ready.
I’m a liar.
Okay, you’re a liar. Who isn’t a liar? Give me one example. Just one.
No, but I lie about everything. I’m from New Haven.
So what — are there a lot of liars in New Haven?
Mattilda, have you been to New Haven? Think about it, Mattilda, you know how I’ve always said that my parents were rich, that’s a lie.
Oh, I don’t give a shit about that.
I know you don’t give a shit, but I just want to tell you, so that at least I’m not lying to you.
I know everyone lies, but it’s not the same thing. My father stole that Mercedes. No, that’s a lie — someone else stole it, and left it with my father.
I always did wonder about the Mercedes.
My father runs an auto repair shop. No, that’s a lie, he used to run an auto repair shop. Before he got arrested. He got arrested for beating my mother. And you know they never arrest the abuser, you know that. That’s how bad it was. I’m a scholarship kid. I mean I was a scholarship kid. I failed too many classes. So I lost the scholarship. Mattilda, this is the first time in my life when I’ve really had money, you know what I mean?
And this is the first time when I realize that it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t mean anything at all.
And that’s when someone behind us says faggots, and I think of turning around but then I stop, I don’t know why but I stop, and he says it again. And I look at Avery, who’s looking at me, I can tell she’s thinking of looking back but instead we just start walking, we start walking like we didn’t even hear it, we didn’t hear anything, there’s a forcefield around us, okay?