I was six when I first met Tom.
Before Tom, the only man I was around was my little league baseball coach. Coach Castle drove an old beater Jeep Cherokee. It had wood paneling and smelled like stale pipe smoke. Sometimes after practice, Coach Castle drove us to Terri’s Hot Dog Stand and bought us fried cherry pies. Coach didn’t talk much. So I just watched him. Squinting. Like I was looking at a lunar eclipse. Men were an anomaly. They rarely came around. Men were elusive creatures, like Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street.
Tom came to our door with a crooked smile and a busty mustache, back when they were cool. I wasn’t sure what to think of him. But the first time we hung out, Tom took me to Baskin Robins and bought me a double scoop of chocolate. I remember it dripping down my fingers onto the table. But it didn’t matter – I had a new friend [...]