Thursday, April 4, 2013

Reflections on a bigot I loved

I wrote this for a class. But I thought it would be appropriate here since bigotry is obviously a major theme here. (It's only sort of fictional)
He misses the old days. You know the days. Fewer people. People knew each other, who watched out for each other. People knew people. They took care of each other. Life was simpler. Maybe not easier, but simpler.

Photo by canorus via Flickr
Not the way it’s becoming now. Where gays get are everywhere and women leave their children. And worse. Where people who were born men become women and women become men. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. Not the way God meant it to be.

He stares straight ahead, sitting on the couch, his belly big, his milky blue eyes staring at the TV. We were watching the news, me and grandpa. My special sweet grandpa who used to take me camping and throw me over his shoulders and carry me around like a sack of potatoes. I loved that game. I knew it was old. A sack of potatoes like he was back in Russia. I imagined him in peasant pants and knickers, selling potatoes, even if he never did. But it was my exotic projection. My grandfather with a smooth chest and a quick smile. My grandpa who I have known in my heart was born old with bristly gray hair. Because he seems perfect that way.

But now, he is sitting there, busting my illusion. He is just like those men on the TV. He’s just as bad, just as crazy. I like to forget this part of him. Because you can’t argue with it.

He knows I’m gay and said he didn’t care. But now he talks about the way gays are ruining the country and I feel a clenching in my belly. He looks at me. His eyes right on mine so intense I turn away. He’s almost spitting, he’s so mad.

“But I thought you were OK,” I want to say, “about me.” But I don't. Just stare straight ahead.

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