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Ladies with an Attitude

“Oh my God,” I said, paging through The New Yorker, “a friend of mine has a poem published in here!”

“In The New Yorker?” asked the Manly Fireplug’s roommate.

“Yeah. Well, he’s not really a friend so much as a guy I know.”

“If he’s published in The New Yorker then he’s a friend now.”

I read the poem. “Oh my God! I know everyone in this poem. Including the bulldog!”

But it must be a different bulldog by now. I hadn’t hung out with the poet’s brother since 1990, in Minneapolis, the summer after my first year of college, the summer after I’d come out of the closet.

“I know his brother. Or knew his brother. I’m not sure where he is now, but that summer he used to vogue in the passenger seat of my car, smoking Marlboro reds. His mother thought I was a bad influence on him.”

“You are a bad influence.”

“I know. Everything I touch turns gay.”

The roommate turned back to Playstation 3.

“Have you found the plasma rifle yet?” I asked.

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