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May 16, 2012

So Many Things Going On

by Brendan

The many things include an ongoing discussion by Dead Runners Debate on the recent Pres. Obama statements in favor of gay marriage.  They also include reading a story by my friend Bruce Hoch.

First things first:  the discussion of gay marriage reminds me that I’ve currently and for awhile had a crop of gay friends.  And thinking back to high school, I had at least one gay friend, though back then I had no idea what being gay meant or how to react if someone was, or what to do in general.

Grew up in a family where such things were not discussed, where really pretty much nothing was discussed — our family didn’t only not talk about feelings, we didn’t even have feelings.  Feelings were a luxury item, appropriate for others but not for the Pieters family.  So, my friend Murray was, according to Mom, a bit “funny” — well, yes he was, always the bearer of interesting stories or interesting ideas, such as the creation of the Christmas Cheer Committee, a group of  friends who traveled around to houses of those we more-or-less knew during Christmas season, inviting ourselves in for “cheer,” and in return commenting on how well or badly their Christmas decorations displayed their holiday spirit. (I think we were trying to cadge drinks out of adults — but all I remember getting was holiday food.) But “funny” was, I guess, Mom’s code for gay (a word that meant “cheerful” back in the mid-60’s); similarly, she described her alcoholic uncles as heavy drinkers, not having the word “alcoholic” in her vocabulary.

Bruce’s story: It’s called “The Delano Airflow ELegante” (it’s a brand of RV), and in four quick pages Bruce introduces and limns the needs\interests of a 50-ish woman who gets divorced, changes her name, changes her underwear, and initiates a flirtation with her longtime doctor (the story takes place in the doctor’s office, during an examination).   When I read the story’s last line, I said “Wow!” out loud, and then I thought about the stories I might write if I truly had any kind of talent for it.

Which maybe I have; unless I don’t.

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