On the Rug II

The regular reader of this blog (and you know who you are) will perhaps recall that I have been going several times a week to read to Owen’s 5th grade class (On the Rug). I sit in a chair and the kids gather on the rug at the back of the class, a lucky few claiming one of the 3 milk crates on which perch 3 flowered pillows. We just finished Mistress Masham’s Repose by T.H. White, and have now started The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander.

Yesterday, their teacher mentioned that some of them had had a bit of a struggle with some of the vocabulary, references, plot, etc., of Mistress Masham’s Repose, so I asked them some questions and we processed a bit. At one point, I said, “Well, is there anything else about the book that you want to ask, anything that’s been keeping you up at night?” and one brave soul asked me what bloaters are (one of the characters is very fond of bloaters). My feeling is that bloaters are blood sausages, although I guess I’m not entirely certain, and we talked about sausages and how some folks use the entire animal, including the blood, and that you can cook blood, etc.

To my left, on one of the milk crates and within close proximity to my knee, was sitting a young man who has quite a bit of fairy dust sprinkled over him. He was wearing madras Bermuda shorts, a nice polo shirt, and was otherwise impeccably groomed. Another young man, an athlete sporting no fairy dust that I can detect, was on the floor at his feet, leaning back comfortably while Fairy Dust played with his hair. As we discussed bloaters, Fairy Dust shivered and, with an expressive moue, said softly, “Now that’s going to keep me up at night!” I laughed and patted his arm – seriously, it was probably the cutest thing I’d seen all week, and I have a puppy!

This morning, I told my Beau about the latest On the Rug scene, and later I got to thinking about Fairy Dust with his fingers combing through Sporty’s hair, both happy as little clams. I got to wondering about this generation of kids growing up. Might it be possible that there will be a coterie of straight guys who are openly and happily friends with gay guys, just the way there have been fag hags forever? Might these male fag hags appreciate and learn from fags the way female fag hags have forever? I’m not talking about a gay boy being in the closet so he can pal around with a straight boy, I mean that the gay boy is out, the straight boy knows he’s out, it’s not a forbidden topic, and it’s part of their friendship for each other. Of course, there would be problems of falling in love, being confused about platonic love and romantic love and etc., but there are always those problems – there certainly are with female fag hags, even on the fag’s side. To me, it is a lovely idea that there could be a genuine and open friendship between gay and straight boys as a matter of course and not just because he’s my cousin or my brother or whatever and we never talk about it. Just thinking about those two boys on the rug gives me hope.

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 2:12 AM  Comments (2)  

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  1. A lovely thought indeed! And just for the record our youngest (sixteen) has been happily best buddies with the gayest boy you ever did see since he was about seven. He’s totally accepted by ‘the crowd’ and it seems a very unproblematic relationship. I’ve seen this repeated several times with this generation of kids and it gives me great hope for the future.

  2. How heartening! Thank you for letting me know, and thanks so much for stopping by!

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