And Milkman Makes Three

As I’ve previously stated, I’ve always been surrounded by many more friends that were girls than boys. It dates all the way back to elementary school when all the boys were playing [insert any sport here], and I was over somewhere chillin’ with the ladies. I’d like to say that I was spitting some pretty mad game, but honestly, that wasn’t the case at all. Most of the time, I was just going along with whatever everyone else wanted me to do. I didn’t want to be alone because I saw what kind of ramifications that could cause. One boy in class, Jacob, used to get in trouble when he was by himself because he would always put paste down his pants and draw circles with lines in the middle and scream “I just drew a wiener! I just drew a wiener!” I don’t know whatever happened to Jacob, but I can only imagine he graduated with honors. I wasn’t ready to chance that kind of future, so I decided to hang out with the girls.
Our normal second grade group was the girls, myself, and Tyler. Tyler was a sparkling ginger of only seven years old. He was quite a shining star in our class, mostly because you could be blinded by his orange mane when the sun hit it; imagine it kind of being like Medusa. Tyler chose to hang out with the girls much more rapidly than I did; one could even say at times that he was the Regina of the group. Every day at recess, there was no option as to what we would play. It was house, and it was a serious game. When we made our way out to the safety hazard that we called a playground, we would be assigned roles. Tyler would bring out the high heels that our second grade teacher brought in for the girls to play with, and he would be Mommy. Mommy was an important role on the playground. Mommy served dinner (wood chips, or sometimes a worm), and Mommy made the rules. Mommy took care of the kids, and Mommy’s most important rule was taking care of Daddy… Daddy and the milkman.
One of the other girls would be Daddy, and some of the girls would be daughters. If there were too many girls, they would be neighbors or aunts, but the role of Milkman, an understated but important role, was always reserved for me for some reason. The way our game would start is that Milkman would go elsewhere. He would watch the game from afar, and Mommy would walk around in heels a lot and take care of the children. Mommy would sometimes talk to the aunt-neighbors and when the kids were in bed, and Daddy had fallen asleep, Mommy would meet the milkman outside and hug him a lot.
Needless to say, Tyler and I hugged a lot during recess, and it didn’t really strike me as something to be pondered upon until later on in life. There’s actually a lot that should probably be considered at this point, considering that it was commonplace for Mommy to sneak out of bed and love up on milkman outside… either someone let their son watch way too much Days of Our Lives or the milkman was bringing something more than dairy products to the house. Regardless, I was being included, so I would hug Tyler for the last five minutes of recess, then we would go in and do Mad Minutes (a weird, time-based math sheet of addition/subtraction problems that literally made me tingle at the thought). I didn’t love house, but I loved being part of a group.
In retrospect, I feel like there’s some discussing to be done. There are psychological indicators all over the place. Let’s start with the issues of the milkman to begin with. Looking back, I love the retro-feel to it all. Very mid-century. Very nostalgic. But beyond that, it’s all very perverse; something more suited for inside of the psychologist’s office than on the playground. Tyler eventually left our school, and I don’t think I’ve seen him since about seventh grade. Even as a child though, I felt like there wasn’t something awry with the whole milkman hypothesis. I didn’t remember my mommy going to visit the milkman once everyone had gone to sleep, but then again, I didn’t remember my mom insisting on always wearing heels. Mommy Kathy and Mommy Tyler were two different animals it seemed.
The biggest question I had once I had gotten older was why was I the milkman, and why were those hugs so long… so close… so… sensual… at least in the context of two seven-year-old boys. I always liked Tyler; some would consider us “playground bros,” but I never remember all the other boys hugging like that.
I think that the prolonged hugging may have led to future issues in my life, including but not limited to physical distance and my continued role as the milkman (see Come On Skinny Love, Just Last… Like Two Days). It was dirty, uncomfortable, and exciting all at the same time. I was the man of the night, I was boy mommy’s secret lover, I was the milkman. As for Tyler, I guess I’ll never know what kind of deep-rooted issues were going on up inside that red headed skull of his, but I do know that somehow, I was on his mother’s-other-lover radar, and for some reason, I kind of appreciated and feared the whole thing. Recess was our time to play an adult’s game, and it was until I was actually an adult that I realized the gravity of the adult game we were playing. One is company, two’s a crowd, and three is apparently the time of morning that the milkman came to get his hugging on.


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