Sunday, April 06, 2008

Not Quite Brokeback Mountain

This post is a parody of my nonsexual obsession with Brian Brown, the manager of my local public library.

March 7, 2006 - I didn't want it to happen. I didn't see it coming. I'm a husband. I'm a dog owner. I'm the head librarian of the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library. I'm every reader's go-to guy. But today, while I was watching the patrons in the library, I realized, beyond a shadow of a doubt: Oh, my God, I'm in love with Gary Freedman.

March 8, 2006 - I hoped that once I'd written it down, once I could actually see the words in these most secret diary pages, my undeniable feelings would, I don't know, just somehow vanish. I mean, I've never even thought about another fellow that way, not ever--O.K., Ted Kennedy at the pool in those sopping madras trunks. But, hey, give me a break--I'm Irish Catholic. But this is different. This is oddly . . . sacred. Those liquid, burden-of-decency basset-hound eyes. That long, luscious, well-formed jaw. That cinder-block thick, brushed-chrome hair. I'm so ashamed. And I've never felt more alive.

March 11, 2006 - I couldn't keep it to myself, not one second longer. I had to tell someone I trusted absolutely, someone who I thought just might understand--Decosta. I said, "Bill, I have something to tell you. Something powerful. Something true. I'm madly, hopelessly, soul-quiveringly in love with Gary Freedman." He stared at me. Had I made a terrible mistake? And then he grasped my forearm and whispered, in that irresistibly soothing voice, "Brian--you, too?" Bill and I were clutching each other's shoulders, hopping up and down, squealing, wondering which of us he'd choose. "Oh, but you're so much smarter and tougher," Bill insisted. "But you are so friendlier," I told him, ruefully. "That's true," Bill admitted, trying not to sound smug. "Stop smiling like that," I snapped.

March 21, 2006 - I had to tell my wife, Paige. It was the right thing, the only decent thing, to do. I knew there'd be tears, and I knew she'd need Entenmann's. But I sat her down and I said, "Babe, we've had a good, long run. You made me quit shaving, you've watched me and my beard grow and mature, you've shown me what books are for. But we can't live a lie--I love Gary Freedman." She took a deep, sharp breath. Could she ever forgive me? Could she make any sort of life for herself? "That bitch," she finally hissed. "I knew it. I knew he wanted you. I'm just a librarian's wife; how am I supposed to compete with that?" Paige seethed, lunging for another box of Munchkins.

April 1, 2006 - I'm giddy, I'm like a child, like a butterfly, like a bookmobile--if only those roving librarians could share this happiness, and barrel down a highway of love! I called my folks and I told 'em, "Mom, Dad, I'm in love with Gary Freedman and nothing can stop me!" There was a brief pause, and then I heard my mother say, "I win the bet." "Are you sure about this, son?" my dad asked. "Remember when you were in love with that Barbara Eden person?" "But I found out she wasn't a real genie," I protested. "Gary, though--he's pure magic!" Mom sighed heavily, the way she did after she found out my pension plan had vested. "Are you going to do the right thing?" my dad demanded. "Are you gonna marry him?" "Of course!" I all but sang. "I'm going to join the Log-Cabin Republicans, and vote for David Catania in the next election, just for the two of us! Nobody else! I want it to be special."

April 2, 2006 - I've figured it all out--we'll be co-equal partners. Whenever we have to make a decision, like whether to buy the New York Times best-seller or the Los Angeles Times best-seller, I'll just gaze across the breakfast table and ask, "Honey, what do you think?" And he'll twinkle impishly--I'll teach him how--and he'll say, "Sweetheart, you know best." "No, you," I'll insist, roguishly. "Stop it," he'll pretend to bark, his eyes telling a different story. And then we'll take turns reading the Sunday-edition book reviews, and if one of us disagrees we'll just cock a thumb at the other guy and chirp, "Barnes and Noble!"

April 3, 2006 - There's only one thing left to do, the final step on my escalator to ecstasy: I'm going to tell him. I've got his top secret, ultra-personal cell-phone number, and I've planned it out. If someone else answers, I'll be really polite. I'll just say, "Could I please speak to Gary? And, remember, whatever happens, you'll still have access to Gary's cell phone." And then he'll get on the line and I'll say playfully, "Guess who this is!" And after he tries "Will Ferrell?" or "Whoopi?" I'll blurt, "No, Silliness! It's Brian Brown!" And he'll ask, "How do I know it's really you?" And I'll say, joyfully and honestly looking the phone straight in the eye, "Because--I love you!" And he'll gasp and then, the words aching with emotion, he'll plead, "Don't say something like that. Not unless you really mean it." "Of course I mean it," I'll declare. "I've never meant anything so much in my entire life! This morning Decosta asked me if I was high on painkillers!" "Oh, Brian," he'll coo. "I've hoped . . . I've dreamed . . . but I've never dared to imagine that you might feel this way, too! Can we head to your house and pretend to clear out the garage together?" "Name the date!" I'll crow. It's going to be so incredible; he's gonna make me the happiest guy since--well, all I can say is, this is so University of Maryland! I'm picking up the phone, I'm dialing, it's ringing, he's answering! Wish me all the lovingest luck in the world, here I go!

And yes, Brian's wife is, in fact, named Paige. The head librarian is married to a woman named Paige. You can't make up stuff like that. Oh, and David Catania--he's the gay Republican member of the D.C. City Council. His domestic partner is named Brian. You can't make that up, either.


Anonymous said...


that you? no kidding! one of your brazilian friends huh? :)

Anonymous said...

when you wrote to me about damien, the novel, you had mentioned brian to me. brian brown. i hope, for his sake, you've changed name to protect identities.

kevin said...

I can't decide which is more disturbing, a sexual obsession for a public librarian or a non-sexual one.