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8:19 p.m. - January 24, 2005
Thoughts on the avoided question
The brother and the-girlfriend-from-Thanksgiving are using my house as a pied-à-terre for the week, an example of unavoidable hospitality when family calls with a few hours' notice to announce they're on their way and will arrive soon. I gripe inside, smile outside, but honestly I'm enjoying having them here, liked going to Safeway and Whole Foods to stock goodies and staples and the green-juice for the girlfriend. Lucky Charms and milk, Marie Lu cookies and red apples, crudités sliced or chopped and placed in glass containers: These are the sounds and packages of family and I enjoy the bustle, look past the long blonde hairs suddenly appearing on counters and floors, pick up wet towels off the bathroom floor, make conversation.

I am becoming used to the brother's girlfriend; she is a sweet girl who adores my brother. They are a stereotypical match: Jock blond and a blonde aesthetician with a beautiful smile and though she says she's not a reader she is kind enough to make conversation on a topic she knows is safe - books: They all look interesting! as she holds up Erhet's Civilizations of Africa or admires the pictures in Fleming's Arts & Ideas, and says too often that my house is like a bookstore. It is nice having a woman here again, trailing scent behind her and chopping vegetables into tiny pieces for the salad, clucking her tongue at my brother and I when we throw whole olives and baby carrots into the mix. Closeness: I like closeness.

Drove them to BART and on the way sat at a red light next to a bus featuring an advertisement for Queer as Folk, and my brother went off: Two men kissing turns his stomach, do they show them pine'd [editor's note: I also had to inquire. Definition: Southern-Californian jock colloquialism for the male erection, as in pine tree (?)], do they show the reality of Karposi's and drug cocktails, or just the partying and pretty boys? I didn't say much, preferring his girlfriend to protest she's seen episodes of the show and it's a gay soap opera with hot men. Keep in mind his mother is a lesbian, he was raised in the most liberal part of the most liberal area of the most liberal state in the nation, fed plenty of sensitivity awareness, and still has a visceral reaction to all things gay: Boy, doesn't the gay establishment have a long way to go besides worrying about people in the red states.

A prime opportunity for me to speak up and say I'm-gay-surprise-who-knew but no - not going to happen.

Thought about how I feel when I kiss men - three guys total, though the third was very briefly a simple peck on the lips - and I don't think I was ever repulsed. I was scared and my heart beat furiously, I was uncertain as to the mechanics since I had only kissed women with far smaller noses than men tend to have, and I was simultaneously angry and happy to recognize that the word that applied to me was gay because in all, I wanted to kiss a man. I yielded and while that's not me who skipped down the yellow brick road or kissed the frog to live happily ever after, it's better than fucking your girlfriend and wondering why I thought of tag-teaming her with a hot buddy.

It hurt and I took it personal, but said nothing: Pro forma!

Joel just called.


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