At first you walked in front of me, occasionally looking over your shoulder as if you’d heard a noise but I knew you were just making sure I was still there. After a time you stopped to smell the base of a very uninteresting looking tree. This was your game. You were making the rules, controlling the outcome. Of course I stopped. Asked you what you were up to this evening, if you’d checked out any parties. You didn’t respond, just rubbed the entirety of your body against the bland, naked tree.
I squatted down and held out my hand, you slowly came forward, tentatively sniffing each finger. Finally you pushed your head into my knuckles but flinched when I moved to pet you myself, eventually returning once again to do it on your own, squeezing out all autonomy I imagined I had. Objectifying me. Fed up I went for a long, wholly well-intentioned stroke on your back and was met with a nip and a hiss. You ran down the sidewalk and waited. There was no doubt you’d won the game but I still enjoyed playing.