Saturday, April 28, 2018

You’d think it was just about time for love.

It’s Glasgow, March and we walk hand in hand in the park.
Now it’s 15:13 and I’m late and I have to make a choice.
We’re both boys, you see.
If you were to go back and look, you’d see a hundred eyes hurry to objectify this hand in hand stance.
It’s a flurried dance of reaction. Some smile, they’re proud and they want me to know.
But there’s a darker shade of brow that balances the books.
The kind of look that challenges, like this is some chess game and I’m in check and I’m second guessing what they might do next.
Point me out to all the pawns in the crowd. Spawn a following whose glowers linger on so that our hands are no longer holding, but dragging glare after glare, snowballing stares, stretching elastic social disgrace through this forbidden space and the scales are well and truly tipped.
Now it’s 15:14, Glasgow, March, 2018 and I have to make a choice.
Have you ever wondered how to say goodbye?
You know, to a friend’s Mum. Do you go in for a kiss in the cheek?
To a colleague, neighbour. Do you hug them or shrug them off?
What if that neighbour is your lover? What if there’s no other way to say goodbye than the one you know will send outcry burning through the matchstick men and women who love to strike up ideals.
I´m a walking meal for the mouths of normality.
And what does that mean, exactly?
We´re normal, he says with his frown but under his wife’s dress and flesh is an unborn baby blessed with one more hour of air before she miscarries and they carry that grief with them to the grave and they are not normal anymore, they are changed and aching.
And that old man, I make him sick, but he writes to Japan at the weekend to get a friend to send him the used knickers you can vend from a machine there. For completely normal purposes of course.
See, normality is a crowd-sourced fantasy but it turns every single silent person in this park into an enemy.
Teenage boys blunder ahead. How much thunder are they carrying in their heads? They should probably be at school drawing straight lines. Sprinting in straight lines. Thinking in straight lines. 

When the bell rings, it’s no wonder they want to straighten up anything that curves or bends.
Or her with the roll and chips and the kids. She’d take one salty glance at two guys kiss and be hissing vinegar our way. I´ve got nothing against gays, she´d say, but do you have to do it in front of my kids? And then she runs away. They never do stay long enough to look you in the eyes.
And a bible basher rehashing lies about Jesus like how Poundland rip off Mini Cheddars and sell them on as Cheese Savouries. Because it seems to me that Jesus saved a lot of time when he died for all our crimes that he would’ve wasted teaching small minds that love is no sin. See him, he thinks its faith but under all that din, it tastes like cardboard and it smells like hate.
And I may sound angry, but I’m just scared. Because in the midst of this and this and that, there’s one person I’m not looking at. Because a face looks different in the daylight than in the night where at least there’s no-one staring but you’re always wearing worry lines and looking at the time because the last train home is always waiting.
Because this should be a small choice, and there’s all this noise in my head.
I should be holding a hand and I’m holding shame instead.
But I’m letting it go. No. I won’t keep weighing it up, I’ll put my muscles at ease.
And they’re 30% of my mass by the way. I’m a homosapien.
Elbows. Knees. 60% water flooding, 7% blood rushing.
And half a percent beating heart.
So why is a goodbye kiss no walk in the park?
Half a percent doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough.
It’s 15:15, Glasgow, March 2018 after all.
You’d think it was just about time for love.

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