There were only my parents left to tell. I rolled up to the house and found Dad on the porch. An extension cord ran through the window to power a fan that blew into his face while he smoked his pipe. Maybe that’s why he was smiling. It was a rare event.
My bowels tightened as I approached, but it was probably better to catch him in a good mood for this.
"Hey Dad," I said. "Can we talk a minute? I have something to tell you."
"Is it that you're going to pay back-rent for the eighteen years I raised you?"
“You don’t have the legal grounds for that, Dad.”
“You going to pay me back for sending you to law school, then?”
I smiled into my sleeve, not wanting to show him too much positive reinforcement. Dad took encouragement like others took alcohol, and he was an abusive drunk.
“You know how I’ve had the same roommate for three years?”
“How is that lease?”
And down we went. Sucked directly into an inferno of topics on his mind. I bided my time, weathering complaints about the Dodgers’ line-up and the Republicans' concessions to Obama. There was a pause around what we were going to do for Memorial Day. Charcoal was a tenuous issue for him.
Charcoal is not how most people come out, but it was a break. I jumped in.
"Dad. I need you to know: I'm gay. Danny isn’t just my roommate. We’ve been together for almost a year."
He studied the handrail of the steps. I put my hand on it, and he studied another part of it. There was this big opening, and honestly I didn’t know how to fill it. Then Dad looked up, lower lip puckered.
"Okay," he said. "I tongued your mother's asshole last night."
My mouth fell open a little.
"Kind of makes you want to throw up, eh?" His lip wasn't quivering anymore. "But you're not going to stop me. So what are we doing for the grill?"
And that was it. He even helped me break it to Mom, which was nice because it was another week before I could look her in the eye.
I swear he's a good man.