November 1997
s m u g
three dollar bill
by Willie Love


Love, My Family

My family is not full of Love, but it is full of Loves, as we are fond of joking at family functions. This is a thinly veiled attempt at using humor to conceal the amount of dysfunction that one small group of about 24 blood relatives can muster when thrust into the same room. I'm thinking about this now, since the countdown to the high holy of Love holidays is encroaching, Thanksgiving.

I assure you, it's not as bad as it sounds, frankly, it's much worse than it sounds. My two sisters, one married, the other - what my family affectionately calls "a young chippie" - (nomenclature signifying that she's a slut, which by her own admission is absolutely true,) use this day to jockey for the position of most beloved daughter through creative table setting and I try to bond with my dad, who makes Stalin look cuddly. Aunt Wilhelmena (yes, I am named after her, that's why I'm gay damn you) uses the day to have us ransack the house looking for things she lost in London circa 1911, and Uncle Lotsa Love (the origins of his name are still somewhat sketchy) tells stories about wars he claims to have fought in, while his military records clearly state that he received a section eight on his third day of service for something that involved carelessness with a paring knife in the mess hall at boot camp.

Those are the most 'normal' members of my family. Notice I didn't say "sane". As far as sanity goes, I'd love to include my married sister, but since she spawned, she's only capable of speaking in the third person omniscient tense "We who loves carrots" and replies to questions the same way "We love watching football with Daddy, don't we, Willie" which if a regular person and said it would have meant "Willie, I know you hate watching football with the old fat man on the couch." This does not include all the cousins with various "quirks" that other families would recognize immediately as behaviors that required psychotropic drugs to modify and round the clock medical supervision.

This leaves me, the "faggot" and my baby sister, the "slut" to keep each other company and make horrible jokes at my family's expense when we think no one is listening. Sometimes though, she bring a date to Thanksgiving, some oily bohunk who rides up on a motorcycle with no muffler and speaks in mono syllables. I'd love to say that this was an original move on her, but I know that my sister always loved the Nick character, Mallory's boyfriend on Family Ties and has been trying her whole life to achieve that certain state of Ohio-like rebellion.

Apparently this year the pickings are slim, though in the hog riding grunting redneck supply in her area. So, we've decided to over personify our family's labels and scare the bejeezus out of them. My father frequently likes to tell company that his son is gay "you know, like the Village People" and that his youngest daughter is "smart, except for when it comes to the boys". Since we are 250% positive that our family will handle it in the same way they handle all problems, that is, ignore them until Markie Post stars in a made for TV movie about them, we've decided that fulfilling their worst fear fantasies is the shortest distance between two points in reaching our goal to just be let alone this Thanksgiving.

She's got it easier than me, being a woman, All she's gotta do is wear some fish nets and a tight dress and smear some red lipstick on, accentuating her hussy image in my family's eyes. Me, I have to do more work.

I've been practicing my lisp by watching the Birdcage, and Torch Song Trilogy, and theatrically I'm torn between Robin Williams and harvey Firestein. I'm leaning toward Firestein though, since he's at least actually gay, and I saw a great pair of bunny slippers at my thrift store this morning. The weekend before Thanksgiving, my sister is taking the train down from where she lives to the city and we're going to cruise for a willing pretty boy, age 19, with no family and a confused sexual outlook. Sure, we're taking advantage of him, but at least he'll get a free meal. My mother is nuts, but man, can she cook. We figure that during hors d'oeuvres, we'll exchange pleasantries and by the time everyone is ready for pie we'll launch into a full scale argument over who Bijan - no matter what his nationality, I'm insisting he go by Bijan, likes better. Then, we'll give him ten dollars to say "Darlings you're so beautiful, I just can't choose!"

You think I'm kidding, but this will at least free up me, my sister and Bijan to play Scrabble upstairs in the girls' old room. She won't have to do dishes and I won't have to pretend I have no opinions or ideas that are my own, and of course, that I love football. I'm not going to like the outfits though. I expect to have to do at least three costume changes, one of them being full drag and the others alternately being the leather chaps and see through wait length jersey and the time tested fag uniform, the jump suit. Pray for my soul.



in the junk drawer:

October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997

and such
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