A bit odd…

what goes through your brain when you send a friend a link to five ways to remove dried blood stains from clothes after you’ve been reading violent law enforcement books for a while…

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The gay thing

I’m caught in this book series about two FBI agents who fight bad guys and have lots of fun adventures. They’re also bisexual. And they slowly but surely fall in love with each other.

I’m not homophobic, nor am I gay or bi. While I understand there’s a market for this sort of romance and it seems it’s getting more and more popular, to me it’s pretty much the same as reading stories about boys and girls falling in love with perhaps sweaty sex scenes thrown in there. If the story’s good, then it’s good.

There’s a difference, though. Even if, to me, a couple is a couple, people fall in love and it doesn’t have anything to do with their sexual equipment, reading these books has opened my eyes about all sorts of details we straight people don’t have to think about.

And sadly they make me appreciate being straight more. It’s appalling to think that, I know. It’s just that if I want to kiss my husband while walking on the street, no one will sling poo at us or call us names. It’s normal.  We can hold hands and not be judged. I can talk about my husband in my workplace and not be ostracized by my peers.

And because we’re married because we could and it was a choice we made and it was accepted by the society we live in, if something happens to me, the hospital and cops will contact my next of kin: my husband. If I died without a will, society would recognize my legal spouse and split my estate between him and my kids – yeah, we can have kids without adopting: we can make them all on our own, no need for expensive help in adopting or in vitro fertilization (I know some straight couples struggle and have to go through this, but if you’re gay you have no choice), another piece of luck, and we’re not judged if we’re good parents or not because we’re straight, we don’t have to defend our choices to raise kids with same-sex parents.

It’s easy-breezy for us straight folks and we take it for granted.

I’ve had gay friends, went to gay bars, have gay neighbours, worked with a lesbian mom who didn’t tell anyone in the office for a long time and it’s a good thing because we found out later we had a bigot for a boss; had two good girlfriends of mine in high school who fell in love with me without me knowing they were even gay or knowing anything about it until years and years later; and through all these people, very normal people I might add, I was educated in the struggles they have to deal with and have felt lots of compassion and also guilt towards them.

Yup, good ol’fashioned Catholic guilt. It’s a fun paradox. The Catholic Church, of which I am not a member and who up until forty or fifty years ago had a strong influence where I grew up, throws gays in hell. But it also teaches about guilt and I guess some of it rubbed off on me. Not the guilt the Church wanted me to feel, so I could ask for forgiveness and repent and all that, but guilt that I was born straight and gays were not. Life for me is easier just by the wiring in my brain that selects the type of person I’m attracted to. Just like that. Aren’t I lucky. Had I been born gay, I can tell you right now my life would have been hell.

My father would have turned on me for sure. My mom would have had difficulty in accepting it. My grandmother who I was pretty close to would certainly have turned on me too: first, by being loyal to her son, my dad, and second by the moronic Catholic indoctrination she suffered growing up here as a child. Forget my dear darling grandfather: he would have hurled insults at me from his window on the second floor for the whole world to hear.

Would I be happily married with two kids right now? Or would I be dead from committing suicide? I don’t mean to be blunt or overly dramatic: anyone who knows me knows it would have been a possibility.

Anyhow, I have two kids now. I hope for their sake they’re straight. I will love them as much if they are gay – there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind. But I will cry for them, and worry more about them, if they are gay. Because society is still not nice to gays.

Sucked in by a book series again

I got sucked in by a book series. I read one new installment that was a book of the month in my goodreads M/M romance book club by an author pretty popular in the genre. It’s to be a spin-off series of the current very popular series Cut & Run.

Well I loved it.

Now I have to read the original series from the beginning, of course. Good thing I got some money for Christmas, they don’t come cheap.

I’m at book 4 and once again am living with these people in my head all the time, and want to read all the time. They call to me when I’m doing something else, like eating. I can’t let them go when I should be turning off my tablet and going to sleep. I take them to the washroom with me (yup, sad but true). I’m addicted. Again.

Just like any other addiction, the fix is good, the wait for the next one is a little agonizing, and I know that when I finish book 7, I’ll have to wait three months for book 8 and then I’ll have to go cold turkey and it’ll hurt. I’ll miss them. I’ll mourn a little. And I’ll have to read something else to dull the pain.

Wow, reading can be tough, man.

My five favourite books of all time

1. Another Rock Star, by Paula Coots. I know I wrote about it on this blog before, but I really, really love it.  https://joseedeangelis.wordpress.com/tag/another-rock-star/

2. The Crystal Cave series, by Mary Stewart (1970’s). I don’t know how many times I read those four books. It’s what got me addicted to Medieval stuff – I still own a wool cloak, a couple of fluffy blouses and got married in a fair maiden dress, with bustier and everything. It’s the Legend of King Arthur told through Merlin’s narrative. It’s spectacular.

3. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. Again, read it many times but must admit to skipping the religious, somewhat preaching narrative, every single time. It’s okay, though, the book is a huge brick. I loved the story SO MUCH. (You have to read the book to get why I put those words in capital letters…) If anyone asks in the comments, I’ll tell you why.

4. Triggerfish Twist, by Tim Dorsey. Again, before electronic books were cheap, I read my favourites over and over. This one is my favourite of the Tim Dorsey Serge A. Storms books.  That Serge, man, what a wild and crazy serial killer…

5. Blooksucking Fiends, by Christopher Moore. A truly lovely and funny vampire love story. Really. All his books are great, but this one I read many times too.

Actually, Another Rock Star is the only e-book I read twice in a row. But back in the days of small budget and paperbacks, I read my favourite books often through the years. It’s always fun to pick up an old fave and get reacquainted with friends you haven’t seen – or read – in a while…

Part 4: 200 words at a time flash fiction challenge

I’m gonna try to take it to Terribleminds.com

Write on the World

For Part 4 of Chuck Wendig’s 200-Word flash fiction challenge, I picked up on this story about a lost boy in a grocery store. My 200-word contribution is at the end. Enjoy!

*****

He had already looked in the frozen section. From there, he rushed past people toward the front of the store, past the pharmacy.

“Anthony,” he yelled in a panic.

At the end of the aisle, he looked frantically around the corner. Shoppers shuffled with their items and queued for purchase.

Joe parted the people with his hands and maneuvered down the row of checkout lines. The lottery machines usually held Anthony’s interest.

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