On another outing

My cousin and I have never been very close. To this day, the most I hear from her is the Christmas card. The fact that she attempts to keep in contact at all is quite astonishing. She grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland while I grew up Texas. Any closeness we shared dissipated by adolescence, and, like most of my family, she was essentially a stranger by the time I was in college.
This did not, however, preclude us from staying up late and playing catch up when we saw each other. When I was 20, I travelled with my mom and dad to Ohio for Thanksgiving. I had not officially come out to anyone in my family. My sexuality was still the proverbial elephant in the living room. My father, I believe, was still oblivious to my orientation, as well.
So, after our parents had retired, my cousin and I stayed up and talked. I asked her about her boyfriend. We talked about school. We laughed. I think we listened to Pat Benatar. When the lull finally claimed our conversation, she turned to me very seriously and said, "Jeremy, I want you to know that I know that you're gay . . . and I just want you know . . . that I have herpes."

See also: On an outing


Adam said...

you know i think in a journal somewhere they talk about Pat Benatar music being used in Gitmo as a truth serum.

Matt in San Francisco said...

She wins! :)

Oh, by the way, I saw Pat Benetar in concert when I was in college in 1994. She was billed with Fleetwood Mac and REO Speedwagon and actually wasn't that bad...