Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin sits on my dining room table catching the day’s dust. Lint clings onto its magnetic cover of two young human beings expressing their affection for each other.
I put the groceries away in my new apartment and look at the clock. It is half past ten o’clock at night. I notice my paperback version of the novel, worn and old, clinging to the table for dear life, yearning for another read-through. But this time, I will not let its spell weave its magic on me like the countless times it has. I will not let its visuals of San Francisco, its warm characters, its shocking adventures, its renewing relationships take me on another journey into the City of the Gay until 3 a.m. like it did last night. But it won’t tonight.
Instead, I will put away that book. I will put it away on my bookshelf, which sits to the side of my bed. A well-made linen bed made for one person. Well, for now at least. And then I might let Jeremy borrow it tomorrow. His parents don’t let him read such books in his house. Well, for now at least. “You need to study for your SATs!” they yell at him. “You can go read goo-goo love stories later!” But I know he’ll study anyways even if I do give the book to him. Because he knows what he needs.
I sit at the computer. My fingers outstretched and I let them fly. Sail over the waves of the alphabet. An alphabet that I’ve learned so well that now, I control it.
This story is no different and different from the tales of many others at the same time.