The class seemed quiet until Benett and his friends started shrieking “Gay power!” and other chants I couldn’t make out. I went on with the punctuation lesson except for a comment about Tourette’s syndrome victims; Robbie caught my eye and smiled. Later, I told him I’d see him in the play he’s acting in.
I was asking students to give me an adjective, and after two girls said “little” and “short,” I laughed and said, “You’re looking at me.” I heard Benett say, “Then they would have said faggot.” “That’s a noun,” I told him. “And here’s another noun for you: asshole.” He and a couple of his friends walked out of class.
This morning the Miami Herald photographer came and took pictures of me by the local Arby’s. I half-dread the story because the reporter will be out to make me look like a fool. Still, I suppose that may help to sell the book.
I heard those three goons in the back of the class call another kid (not to his face) “the fag”; they’ve also made anti-Semitic remarks. Today they guffawed throughout the class. Of course, it didn’t bother me that much because I’m going to have the last laugh. And so will the gay kid, Robbie, an outgoing, smart theater major.
Cuomo headquarters on primary night was an incredibly happy and surprised scene. Maria Cuomo reminded Teresa of her promise to quit her job to work for her father if he won this primary, and Teresa plans to live up to it. Now that she’s had her revenge, Teresa’s hostility toward Koch is gone.
There’s no doubt that New York’s great virtue is its diversity and its celebration of variety. South Florida is bland, and here everyone hates the outsiders, the ones who are different: Haitians, Spanish-speakers, gays, Jews, people who live in houses made of brick rather than stucco.
I’ve just come out of the shower after returning from the health club. My lenses are in the machine. I’m naked, lying on fresh sheets, Brahms is on the radio, and I feel surprisingly good. Workouts make me feel better mentally even if I’m not developing gorgeous peaks on my biceps or huge pecs.
I got a letter from Sean in Gainesville: “In spite of everything going wrong, I like it here. I’m sure it has something to do with the feeling of independence living alone gives you. Whatever. . . I miss you very, very much. Please stay happy for me. I never want you to be sad.”
He kept telling me that he loved me, and I am positive he does. And God help me, I love the kid, too. We held each other for a long time in pitch darkness punctuated by violent, brief lightning.
Finally he kissed me, I kissed back, and we were off. At first we had our shirts and jeans on – he had on that red Sasson shirt I gave him, the one I especially like. His hair is long, the way I like it, too. I was surprised that Sean seemed handsomer in reality than in my memory.