Wednesday, June 17, 2009

After the Moment

Garret Freymann-Weyr, May 2009.
"'Just leave the kid alone,' Leigh said. 'And then we have no problem.' ...
"'Fine,' Oliver said. 'You can have your little faggot.'
"And Leigh laughed, all of his thoughts and fears sliding away.
"'That's the best you got?' he asked. 'You can't do any better than calling him a faggot?'
"'Oh, I'm sorry, did I insult you?' Oliver asked. 'I didn't know you were one. No offense.'
"'No one cares,' Leigh said. 'That's like the lamest insult.'
"This was not actually true, as Leigh knew. Yes, at his old school, everyone was very careful to use it as a joke and never at a kid who was suspected of being gay, but that was precisely because the word carried a power far beyond its meaning.
"But knowing that he liked girls and being big enough to knock someone out gave Leigh the rare privilege of being able to laugh when the word was turned in his direction.
"The bell rang.
"'Nice meeting you,' Leigh said, letting Millie pull him toward the building. He called over his shoulder, 'Next time I'll try not to be such a fag.' ...
"It became clear that in facting down Oliver Lexham and his gang, Leigh had become a hero of sorts. Franklin had to tell the story countless times, and in the hallways, as well as on different sports teams, people could be heard telling each other, by way of apology or excuse, Next time, I'll try not to be such a fag."
That's the only gay content in After the Moment, but it's pretty great, isn't it?

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