This morning I walked solo into the Hometown Deli, whereupon the Vietnamese proprietess asked, “No dog today? Too cold?”
“Actually”, I said, “my ex has him. We have joint custody.”
To which she laughed incredulously. “Like kids?”
“Ha ha ha…So she gets him sometimes? On weekends.”
“Yeah”, I said, “she helped raise him, so she likes to see him now and then,” I said, pouring cream into my coffee as that peculiar pronoun guilt rose its ugly head.
“Good thing you don’t have kids, huh?” she says, “Ha ha ha ha!”
“Yeah, right,” I say, laughing with her as I leave.
Out on the sidewalk I smack my closet-face. “What the hell did you do that for?” I ask myself.
“Sometimes it’s just easier to go along with the other person’s conversation,” I answer.
But the little activist in me is burning with shame. “You should use EVERY opportunity to be out, asshole. Challenge their assumptions. You’re taking it for granted. It’s fags like you who killed Matthew Shepard.”
Well…I didn’t really say that last part. But you get my point. Welcome to the abandoned carnival that is my head.