The Pink Synod

One day, when I was a senior in high school, I went into the lavatory and was followed by a junior whose name I knew, though I didn’t know anything else about him. He was a quiet sort. As I was washing my hands, he approached me and asked me if I would like—something the reader may guess.

I told him no, I wouldn’t. But it shook me up a bit. I’d never heard of anybody being asked such a thing. So, I talked to my father about it that night. Then he told me a story of how, when he was away from home as a young man, working in a factory in New Jersey, the foreman seemed to take a liking to him and invited him to his house one day for dinner. My father went, suspecting nothing, and the man propositioned him—and got an earful of angry words in response. I don’t remember whether my father quit or the foreman fired him, but that was the end of that job. “So you see,” said my father to me, “it can happen to anybody, so you shouldn’t take it personally.”

I didn’t. But things at school soon exploded because the same kid approached two other boys and got the same response, and they spread the word, and that caused the principal and the dean of students to move into action to defuse the situation. I believe they thought he needed to be taken out of the school for his own welfare, and certainly they wanted the propositioning to stop.

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