Sunday, April 26, 2015

247. Choices

C.W. can get under my skin if I let him, like he did this morning. He walked in wearing a kimono and looking a lot like Orlando Bloom. He smiled at me and cocked his head to one side.

“I’ve decided want to be gay,” he said.

I dropped my dictionary—yes, my dictionary— and knocked over the remnants of my coffee. I placed the dictionary back on the table, dabbed coffee with a napkin, and shook my head, bewildered.

“What the hell are you doing and why do you look that way?”

He sniffed, and placed a hand on his hip. “How many times,” he said, “have I heard you say that you’re not gay but, that if you were, you’d be gay for Orlando Bloom? I just want to be gay.”

“C.W.,” I said, “you can’t be gay.”

“And why not?”

“Because you’re a go… because you’re an alien.”

“Aliens have rights. You do recall your Alien Visitation and Exploration Contract, don’t you?”

“It doesn’t say you can be gay.”

“It says that you must allow me a wide range of choices in my behavior.”

I sighed. “But being gay is not a choice.”

“That man on TV, your former governor what’s his name, ‘Hucksterable,’ or whatever, says it is and he’s a preacher. He ought to know. He’s running for president.”

Preachers don’t establish scientific facts,” I said. “Thank goodness. Neither do presidential candidates.” I stopped and thought about this for a second and relief spread over me. “Besides,” I said, “you can’t believe that everything you see on television is real.”

“You think Big Bang’s Penny is real.”

“Shhh,” I said. I lowered my voice. “How many times have I told you that we don’t talk about Penny when my wife is in the house?”

“Mrs. Big Dope knows you are an idiot.”

“No she doesn’t.”

“Does too. She told me so.”

We were drifting off course. “Well,” I said, “she did marry me.”

“It was her choice,” he said, “for some reason. Now I want to make my own choice.”

Sometimes C.W. can lead you into a logical minefield. “So what would you do,” I said, “upon becoming gay?”

“I want to find a mate and get married, so we can be as happy as you and Mrs. Big Dope.”

I studied him carefully to see if I could detect any signs of sarcasm. Seeing none, I continued. “But you couldn’t get married in this state, at least not yet.” Then I shook my head. “What am I doing? C.W. …,” I said it loudly to get his attention, “you’re a frickin alien. You’re job here, as I understand it, is to observe and report, not set yourself up for abuse, beatings, rejection, and denial of basic rights—maybe even murder. Why would you choose that?”

“For the same reason Martin Luther King, Jr. did, I suppose.”

Oh hell, there I stood, square dab in the middle of his minefield of logic.

“And what would you do after you become gay and get married?”

“You have a spare bedroom.”

An image flooded my brain. There stood Mike Huckabee, in front of a Fox “News” camera spouting away, with our condominium building in the background. That building had already been the focus of another presidential election, you know. I felt a peace spread over me as that image gave way to the exploding head of the preacher who would be president.

“You might have a point, here,” I said. He smiled and, for the briefest second, I saw Orlando Bloom and me stranded on a desert island. I shook the scene away. “You’ll have to know though, that you’re in for a rough ride.”

“Oh, I’m ready,” he said.

For some reason, Big Dope
thinks this is all funny. - C.W.
“A lot of folks will make their own choice, and that choice will be to hate you with an unfounded but unbridled passion.”

“Let ‘em.” He said.

“You will lead a life of challenge,” I said. “And some religions will refuse you. I can’t imagine a more rocky road than the one you choose.”

“Oh,” he said, “don’t worry about the churches.”

“Why not?”

“We, my spouse and I, will choose to be atheists as well.”
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