Here’s how the what-if-my kid-turns-out-to-be-gay question plays out. I’m gonna give you a freebie here so, if you happen to need it, well, then you can run with it.
Okay, here we go:
Yesterday morning, as I was yawning and dumping some sink water into Mr. Coffee’s open skull, all the morning news of the day was out there shooting up into outer darkness/bee-lining for some lonesome cold satellite, rushing through the winds of space at a gillion miles an hour just at the precise moment I was scratching under my left eyeball with the sugar spoon.
Hurtling space junk and meteorites/dodging swift hunks of interplanetary roadkill: these teensy Millenium Falcons of information slammed into their chosen craft and then began the long wild journey back down toward Earth, towards America, towards Pennsylvania, faster now, pummeling against the crosswinds, towards a small white house on a road in a one-horse town, and just as I took my first sip of joe dimaggio, BAM: I walk into the living room in my socks and my Wal-Mart Lazy Person Flannel Pajama/Unemployment Pants just as the news slams into my TV and into my face and my head and my heart and my legacy, whatever that might end up being.
Prop 8 is overturned, it says. California will likely join the list of states allowing gay and lesbian human beings to legally marry.
I looked down at my boy, at my Henry, sitting there in his pajamas with feet, sucking on his binky, watching some early morning Dora. My son. Mi amigo and mi hombre.
I stood there for a sec and let the warm coffee glide down through my veins, into my guts. And I tried to imagine what it might be like someday if he happened to come to me and told me he was gay.
Here’s how I get the feeling it would play out.
Possible Henry: Dad, can I talk to you for a minute?
Me: Not now, Henry, I’m whittling.
Possible Henry: Hey that’s cool, Dad. What is it? An eagle?
Me: Well, no. It’s supposed to be your mother. I wanted to carve her a wooden image of herself to put on the hood of her hovercraft, like those old Mack Truck bulldogs. Oh nevermind. What’s up, boss?
Possible Henry: Dad, I think I might be gay.
Me: Really? Hmph. (Short pause here, I lay aside the wood and the knife.) Well, go tell your mom that I’m leaving her. Moving out. Moving on.
Possible Henry: Dad! No! What the hell do you mean?
Me: Easy, bud. Don’t get upset. Everything is cool. Just go tell your Mom what I said.
Possible Henry: But Dad, please tell me why? I’m scared.
Me: Don’t be scared, dude. It’s all good. It’s just that if you’re gay then I’m gonna be gay right there with you, boss. Simple as that.
Possible Henry: Daaaaad!
Me: I know, I know, Hank. No half-decent fella’s gonna want this old coot! But, dammit son, just so you know that I would drink the ocean and fart out the Rockies for you. I mean that. There is no God in Heaven and no Devil in Hell who could ever toss lightning strong enough to keep me from loving you. No matter what. I don’t give a damn who you fall in love with, dude.
Me: Just as long as you do.