Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Gay Marriage in ______

I didn't think gay marriage was plausible before. My mind changed on a recent trip to ___, one of the few states where it is legal. I came adequately prepared, with a diving suit, several tanks of compressed air and dehydrated food. It was cumbersome to walk the streets in that suit, and further cumbersome to see couples happily walking along the streets without such equipment. They were all heterosexual couples, or people so old and dried out that any sex life between them, hetero or homosexual, was a wishful illusion. At first I wondered where the packs of roving gay couples were, but then something else caught my attention.

The roads were freshly paved and most buildings were in good repair. I checked into a corner bookstore to find the new Jimmy Carter and Stephanie Meyer. The Social Network and Let Me In were playing at the movies. It appeared new outside-world products were still travelling into ___. And though I was deprived of smell within the suit, all food served in street-side cafes appeared fresh and unspoiled.

Then a terrifying thing transpired. The helmet disrupted my peripheral vision and, attempting a crosswalk, I was nearly bowled over by a delivery truck. I tumbled to safety in a gutter, where my sleeve snagged a grate. It tore. I clutched at my neck, preparing to choke to death on _____'s tainted atmosphere. My air hissed out, while ____’s air seeped in silently. I closed my eyes and prepared for death.

To my surprise, I did not die. I lay in the gutter for half an hour before realizing that the atmosphere of ___ was relatively potable to a foreigner. I removed my helmet, though I kept a pair of goggles and a spare oxygen tank just in case. I rested beneath some oak trees. They had turned as orange as any other place in the country. I reflected upon them, and all the other samenesses of this place where gay marriage was legal. Two Hispanics jogged by in sweatpants, one man and one woman, chugging along as though they had no idea that alternative lifestyles were available. They breathed heavily and did not die. They seemed entirely unimpeded. It was then I decided that yes, gay marriage could happen, if only because its occurrence would affect so little else that most natives wouldn’t even notice.


  1. Heh...that's exactly the way some people react. :)

  2. Coming from an uber-religious family, this sounds terribly familiar. My question has always been this, "How does gay marriage hurt the straight couple?" It doesn't. I love your humorous approach to such a touchy subject. The whole thing really is quite ridiculous isn't it?

    This was my favorite line: "chugging along as though they had no idea that alternative lifestyles were available."

    Great job, John.

  3. Satire is good for the soul, in the same way exposing ourselves to new cultures is good. Nice one John!

    With respect: "but then something else my attention." and "The helmet disrupted by peripheral vision..."

    Best from the river.

  4. A brilliant insight, and I loved how you put ____ in place of the city...it reminded me of Joyce Carol Oates story about the black nothingness.
    So glad you're okay: )

  5. That was satire, done well. A touch of the absurd, and funny, but it drives home the point. I enjoyed this one :)

  6. Hahahahahah! Oh that is a keeper John! Great visuals.

  7. An excellent piece of writing. Well done, nice pace.

  8. "To my surprise, I did not die."

    Yep, that sounds about right. Great story.

  9. Oh, John, still giggling. So sad that people really feel like this. Excellent satire. Just excellent.

    I bow to the satire master.

  10. Glad you folks are enjoying this one. I actually did visit one of the few states in the U.S. where gay marriage is legal a couple weeks ago. My hosts were bragging about the right, which struck me since neither of them are gay and we didn't notice any gay couples anywhere. That's where the idea came from. I was going to sit on it, but then the publicity around teen suicides caught my attention. That was too terrible, and I decided to uncork this one sooner.

    Pondering deleting the above paragraph, out of reluctance towards artist's statements... Hm.

    Mike, thanks for catching my typos. Always appreciate somebody watching my back.

    Erin, I haven't read that Oates story. I'm so uncultured. The comparison makes me tingle a little, though.

  11. I'd comment but I'm still laughing.


  12. Loved, absolutely loved the sentence, "I came adequately prepared, with a diving suit, several tanks of compressed air and dehydrated food."

    I know some not so old people (young, actually) where illusory is polite way to describe their sex life. :)

  13. Very nicely done. Satire can be quite difficult to do.

  14. Another reason why this place is one of my favorites...


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