By Jackie Sizemore
Abby and Danny have been dating for a while now, like, three months or so. It’s problematic for stick figures to hold each other, but they live in the cave of their existence, and this is a cave where there are no real hands.
Danny calculates his moves carefully. He wants to hold Abby’s hand walking through the hallways of their stick figure high school, coming inside from gym, and in the back of theater class. He’s watched humans navigate affection and he is ready to try it out. He starts with closing the space of air between his stick arm and Abby’s. The sharp edge of Abby’s appendage cuts the air as they walked in large strides with their long, thin legs. The air in between them is so small, so insignificant, it is two-dimensional.
With no space left between them, the flat-touch brings new sensations. Walking slow and glancing at each other through periphery vision, the friction glows like embers. In time their attempts to hold hands migrates into pain, blistering their arm surfaces. Abby stops walking.
“Why are we doing this?” She flings her arm up into the air, half a Y from the YMCA dance. “We are forcing an image that isn’t meant to work.” Abby sighs, returning her arm to its natural forty-five degree angle.
This is where they end, arms extended toward each other but not quite touching. Blunt white lines against the black of a girl’s nerdy T-shirt.