from Martin Wilson’s What They Always Tell Us

from Martin Wilson’s What They Always Tell Us

Even now, most of the gay people he knows about are on TV shows, funny and witty and sophisticated characters who live in big cities. Or else they are like the guy who cuts his mother’s hair, or that male nurse from their church – what’s his name? – men who seem more like women to James, with their girly way of talking, their constant hand gestures, their wide-eyed expressiveness and glued-on smiles. They’re like friendly extraterrestrials, harmless but totally foreign.

Nathen is nothing like any of those guys. Nor is Alex, now that he thinks about it. They aren’t girly at all. So what could make Greer think they’re homos? Is there something James can’t see? Sure, neither of them has girlfriends or seems interested in acquiring one anytime soon, but so what? That doesn’t mean a thing. Hell, James doesn’t want a girlfriend, either, and he knows he’s not a homo.

Near the end of class Nathen glances over and stifles a yawn and rolls his eyes, then smiles. It’s that smile again, that look in his eyes of total happiness. No homo would smile like that, never.

  — from p. 184-185 of Martin Wilson’s What They Always Tell Us, Delacorte, 2008.

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