Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Finding



By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
“Ernest Hemingway is gay.”

“Ernest Hemingway is dead,” corrected Steve.

“Ernest Hemingway was gay, and is presumed dead,” amended Mark. He was slouched on the couch, watching Luche Libre, his current method of studying Spanish.

Steve looked up from The Half-Blood Prince and considered for a moment. “Whaddya mean 'He's gay?'”

“I just think he was gay, and at this point, I'm fairly certain he's dead.”

Steve closed his book almost sat up in the easy chair. “What do you know about Hemingway?”

“He's gay.”

“Have you even read any Hemingway?”

“I read Hills like White Elephants. It was interesting to me, mostly because it never much mentioned what the story was about, but it was clearly about abortion. I was kind of impressed with how he managed that. But I only read that because I had to for college.”

“You never read anything else?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

Mark turned away from the set and looked directly at Steve. “He killed himself.”

“So?”

“Isn't he supposed to be this man's man? This rugged individualist, or some shit like that? Bullfighting in Spain, drinking rum and cokes in Cuba, smoking cigars, The Old Man and the Sea, blah blah?”

Steve looked at him, mouth partially open. “I thought you said you didn't know anything about him!”

“Didn't say that. I said he's gay.” Winking conspiratorially he added, “And when you know a man is gay, that's something.”

“What is with this gay obsession? You homophobic or something?”

“Non sequitur.”

“Huh?”

“Look, so there you are, this manly man, fighting in wars, writing novels of hopelessness and how Men are Men, then BANG! you shoot yourself in the head. What's that all about?” Mark turned back to watch this generation's Mil Mascaras do a flying suplex on his erstwhile opponent. It was his signature closing move, and usually ended the match.

“I don't know why he killed himself. Who can know such a thing?”

“People leave suicide notes. He left novels. It's all there.”

“Novels you never read.”

“Don't have to. He kind of summed himself up, didn't he.”

“How so?”

“He's gay.”

“Godammit, quit saying that!”

“Okay fine.”

Mark became absorbed in the next bout. Steve just looked at him. Finally, “So, you don't read him because he's gay?”

“Never said that. He killed himself. I don't think I want to hear anything he's got to say. People that are tragic can be rather compelling.”

“So, you just decided to not read anything by him?”

“Yeah, BANG! sudden like.”

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I smile at the touch of the ridiculous, implied non p.c.attitude, & inferred consequences of some "bang" choices, giving rise to a degree of amusement & somberness, in this reader. Glad to see you back, Frater!