School | 2

I started showing interest in girls quite early on, probably when I was 10 or 11. Such curiosity was frowned upon. Sex was definitely a taboo subject. However, it didn’t stop some of us young kids from being fascinated by the subject.

I remember some boys talked about seeing lover’s trysts behind the bushes next to the sports ground on hot summer nights, and we all giggled about it. I remembered once I saw an older boy masturbating in a quiet corner of our dormitory backyard. He asked me to touch him. I was rather confused, as I saw him chatting up girls.

Most of us were not so ‘naughty’. Being the children of teachers, we were quite reserved; boys and girls would not talk to each other as soon as we reached adolescence.

Next to our dormitory was a dry food processing and warehousing facility. Some kids from their Unit were more rebellious. We often saw a few teenage boys and girls, some may have been older, gathering outside their dormitory block chatting. Some of them were clearly boyfriend and girlfriend as they were in each other’s arms - such behaviour was regarded as degenerate then, but of course some of us wished we could be like them.

Opposite our dormitory, beyond the sports ground and next to a few rows of classrooms, there were some permanent outdoor table-tennis tables. We sometimes played table tennis there on weekends and summer holidays when the school was shut.

On one of those hot summer afternoons, I was playing table tennis with an older boy whose family lived opposite to mine in the dormitory. We were chatting about various things when he said, “Guess what I saw last night? I saw those boys and girls from our neighbouring Unit. I saw them climb through the window and get into one of the classrooms.” He pointed to the few rows of classrooms behind me and said, “I saw them having an orgy.” And he described to me what he saw. “Why didn’t you call me over?” I said, the look on my face must have been saying “I thought we were mates”.

He said that he was going to but then thought better of it, in case my mother called out for me. My mother always called out for me from our second floor window when it was getting dark. I was so gutted, but now when I think back, I’m not sure whether it actually happened, or if it was just his wild imagination.

Male, aged around 50, Southern China
August 2020

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