Thursday, December 13, 2007

Slam

When we talk about the future, my boyfriend and I have started saying things like "when we have kids..." or "when junior comes along..."

I don't know exactly when this started, but I suppose that after almost six years of being together, thinking of the future in terms of vacations to take, or appliances to buy, or bankruptcy hearings to attend--it starts getting old, you know?

Both of us have our favorite names for our imaginary kids, of course, who doesn't? For any gay male couple, it's harmless, since it's unlikely that anything would come of it unless we take extraordinary measures to have a kid, like going to boring fundraising dinners and joining political rallies. Boy, I wish all I had to do was to masturbate into a cup.

I mean, when I am at The Gap, I would often 'accidentally' walk into the GapKids section, stage-project my voice, 'oh my! I didn't know it was the kids section!' before looking through all the cute outfits designed to stir your homoternal instincts. I would pick up a cute preppy outfit and think 'this is sooo cute! I have the perfect outfit that will go with this!' and imagine myself holding my little boy's hand walking in the park, playing football or putting together a killer hors d'Ĺ“uvre tray.

Sometimes, these feelings are so strong that if The Gap had a pet store, I would've walked out with a puppy. I am not kidding. If I were a savvy businessman, I would put a pet store next to a designer kids clothing store because you know, all the gays with their unfulfilled homoternal instincts will walk in and get a new kitten or puppy without even knowing why.

Sometimes (and I know I've said this many times in this blog), I wish I were a lesbian, particularly Kim Stolz from America's Next Top Model. I am actually going through a phase right now where I am copying Kim's cool, casual androgynous style: vests, ties, white shirts, but I digress.

If I were a lesbian with homoternal urges, I would go to a bar when I'm ovulating, challenge a cute guy to a drinking game, coz you know I would need to get drunk to do the deed, and he needs to get drunk so he won't remember my face and my address, and so he won't notice my hairy legs or armpits when I take my shirt off--no way I'm shaving just to please a man--uh-uh. Rinse (my privates), repeat until pregnant.

In the breeding hierarchy, gay men are below straights (obviously) and lesbians, but just above Magic The Gathering tournament players. It's sad, I know, but I've accepted my lot. I've channeled all my energies into my two cats. I can't wait to put them in these cute Holiday outfits I got for our next cocktail party.



All these feelings have come back to the fore as I read Nick Hornby's latest novel Slam. The book is about Sam, a fifteen year-old boy who loves to skate. Sam, in first person, spends a few minutes to tell us, somewhat defensively, that skating means skateboarding, not rollerskating or ice skating, which apparently are lame. He talks about the dangerous stunts that skaters do and about Tony Hawk, his idol, whose biography is alternately Sam's bible and advice column.

Personally, I am not sure why Sam thinks ice skating is so lame. I'd like to see him do a triple lutz or triple salchow and see if he doesn't fall on his ass. As for dangerous, I am not sure if there is anything more dangerous than having to sew your own sequined outfit and wearing it to the local ice skating rink.

Sam lives with his single Mom who got pregnant with him when she was sixteen years old. Sam spends his spare time doing fifteen year-old things, learning new skate tricks until he meets Alicia, a beautiful girl at a party whom he gets pregnant.

The title of the book, getting slammed, refers to a bad spill from doing a skate trick. Metaphor for teen pregnancy, I get it. The book is published by Penguin's Young Readers imprint, which I hope won't prevent adults from reading this excellent novel. I am convinced this is one of Hornby's best novels, possibly just below About A Boy. The voice is that of a teen, but the themes are universal: growing up or coming of age, whatever, this is a lot of book for a slim volume. I was hooked into it fairly quickly and couldn't put it down. If you loved Stephen Chbosky's amazing 'young adult' novel Perks of Being a Wallflower, this book is for you.

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A Long Way Down - Annie and I review Nick Hornby's last novel.

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