After that last gloomy post, here’s something to cheer you up. I just finished Carnival of Snackery, David Sedaris’s diary excerpts, which had me chuckling before bed for a few weeks. Here’s a typical anecdote:
April 2, 2009, Pittsburgh
On Wednesday afternoon, I was met at the airport by the dean of students, Felicity, and her departmental colleague, a fellow in his late forties named Conner. The guy wore a sports coat with a forest-green sweater, and, for no reason in particular and every reason in general, I immediately identified him as gay. On the ride into town he mentioned a remodelling project. “We’ve just had hardwood floors put into the living room,” he said, “and now we’ve started expanding the kitchen.”
The following morning Felicity came by herself and drove me back to the airport. Conner, she explained, had taken the day off and was meeting with a contractor. She mentioned the headache of his renovation, and I asked how long he and his boyfriend had owned the house.
“He said, ‘We had new floors put in,’ so I just assumed he meant him and his boyfriend. But, what, does he live with his parents or something?”
“Conner’s married,” Felicity told me.
“To a woman?”
“Well, of course,” she said. “Not only that, but they have two kids.”
There are times I’ve been wrong about this sort of thing, but as far as Conner’s concerned, there’s really no debate. “He’s gay,” I told her.
“Impossible,” Felicity said. “His family aside, when would he have the time?”
She said this as if being a homosexual took hours of practice, not just at the start but every day of your life. Keeping your walk up, maintaining your little outfits — people think it’s easy, but it’s not.
“On top of the event planning, Conner works with the drama department,” Felicity told me. “Then he’s got glee club and another chorus he sings with on weekends.”
To her, this made sense, the perfect defense of his heterosexuality. To me it was like saying, How can he be a vampire when he’s shut up in that coffin all day?