the hydrangeas are on the wan, much like the full moon fades in the western summer sky as dawn lifts its misty head from the pillowy horizon and a good night’s sleep. [too many metaphors? trying too hard or not hard enough? what do you want? i’m practicing for my new career…see below.]
our neighbors of over a decade and a lovely couple of husbands (their marriage in limbo while prop. 8 is debated) are moving to the desert for a job opportunity. we will miss them greatly. as they prepare for their move, they dropped off a box of books, “because we know robert likes to read…” which is true. i finally got around to opening the box the other night to see what ‘reads’ might be waiting for me.
i snorted. it is a box filled with the purple prose of gay literature. jerkin rippers, if you will; with titles as compelling as “one night stand”, “rainbow men”, “3rd & heaven”, “brothers on common ground”, “my husband, my wife”, and my personal favorite “into this world we’re thrown”.
as you might imagine they’re populated by real characters: the nelly queen hairdresser to the stars, the leather-clad-motorcycle-riding antique store owner, the preppie (still? really?) librarian (when the glasses come off, mothers hide your sons), the conflicted buff personal trainer who moonlights as an escort (the nelly queen does his man-scaping), the park avenue fag hag (their words not mine, i’ve always hated those words together or apart, you know park and avenue), the bull dyke and the femme (do you remember where you were when you first heard the words, “lipstick lesbian”? i do.), the disapproving father/mother/daughter/uncle/aunt/cousin (exclusive of kissin’ cousins, more on that later.) all of them sport first names like madison, jordan, mcdonald, pepper, and biff–just as if they’d stepped off the front porch of a mansion on the main line. randy, tom, dick, and harry are names left for the corn-fed blonds who have come from _____ falls, minnesota to the big city to find their fame and fortune and are the objects of desire of the jaded men previously described in this paragraph (each and everyone of them.)
i try not to judge, so pardon the snark of the previous paragraphs. it’s always been my contention that everyone should read something and it’s not up to me to set their standards; whether it’s comic books or, who is that french man you’re all so enamored of, oh yes, jacques derrida (or was it roland barthes? doesn’t matter, as long as you’re reading.)
which brings me to goodreads.com (yes, it does, don’t argue with me.) i had the idea that it would be fun to join goodreads.com. what could be the harm, i asked myself? i could browse through books, those i’ve read and those i’d like to read, perhaps the site might even draw my eye to related texts that would be of interest to me. (a note on the ‘gay’ sections of bookstores. i abhor the idea that there is even the need for a ‘gay’ literature section, i mean, wtf?, right? when you cut me, do i not bleed? for christ’s sake.) but yes, back to goodreads.com: i had no idea that it was a club. and that it would be as fucking competitive as it is. you guys!
so-and-so is reading these four titles right now, what’s-her-name is reading this, this, that, and has the following five books in queue. all of them by authors i’ve never heard of — should i know them? i ask myself, where have i been hiding i think, questioning my taste, my intelligence, my ability to manage my time so that i could read everything ever written…i wilt under the burden.
so i’ve decided for the next few weeks i’m going to indulge myself and read all about the goings-on of small-town gays in the big city, their loves and triumphs, their failures and despair. i’ll giggle at the broken wrists (it’s a metaphor, of course) of the hairdresser and the nine-inch dick of the personal trainer/escort and the older men who drool at its sight. i’ll go shopping with the lipstick lesbians (pendletons for everyone!) and dine with the reclusive old gay man who owns their souls. look for me on goodreads, okay? i’ll be the one in the ‘gay’ section.