i was changing in our gym's locker room when i noticed these two kids. my gym offers karate lessons and the boys would sometimes hang out in the locker room during their breaks. as i was sitting on the bench, undoing my shorts, i noticed how these two young kids, both maybe less than 10 years old, were touching each other. the older of the two had the younger close against him, almost face to face, with his hand inside the younger's shirt. i heard one of them ask the other what he was doing, with the other only replying to him with a hush. he kept it in there for a long while, enough for me to look at them intently and wonder whether or not to think malice of what they were doing. they were young boys, too young to even consider the possible meanings of their actions, and yet it frightened me still though to even have these thoughts. were children becoming promiscuous so early already, exploring their bodies at such tender ages, or had i been corrupted so badly now that i cannot give certain gestures the benefit of the doubt? i continued to stare at them, waiting how things were going to unfold. was i witnessing how boys would eventually evolve into men like me? the older eventually took his hand out of the younger's shirt and placed his head against his chest. the younger asked again what he was doing, the older tightened his embrace. this time however, the older replied with a giggle... "you should hear how strong your heart is beating!" "ba-dum! ba-dum!" turns out, it was the younger's first day in karate class and he was sorely exhausted. the older was his brother i would presume since they kinda looked alike. both boys were dreading the resuming of class since they were set to go against this girl, who i would also presume, can kick boy ass.
i stepped out of the locker room feeling relieved, and to a certain degree, disgusted. relieved that my initial thoughts were very wrong. disgusted since it also confirmed that i had become so jaded that children no longer look innocent in my eyes.
o how much i have lost.