My daughter has been born. I feel like a very big deal. My wife? An even bigger deal.
In semi-related news: As I’ve really started finding a rhythm over at Pitts Think, I believe I’m going to start making this site a repository of what going on with me: writing on other sites, Conversations with The Feath, the goings on at Mixed Magic and, of course, a few sprinklings from my personal life. When the mood strikes to do an original long-form piece, I’ll do it here.
Thanks, as always, for taking the time.
INT. — DAY — BEV’S HOUSE
The Feath and Jon are at the home of a family friend, Bev, celebrating Juice and taking part in Baby Shower of the Century, Part III. Surrounded by friends and family, the expectant parents are again humbled by the love and generosity being shown to them as they embark on what will surely be an epic journey.
Following the gift opening portion of the shower, everyone has moved into the kitchen area for the cake cutting. Standing by the kitchen table, The Feath is the picture of fertility and health. Her stomach blossoming beneath a pink dress, her pearls and shoes a brilliant white, she looks every bit the beautiful vessel. Smiling as she does so regularly, The Feath suddenly furrows her brow and freezes in place.
The Feath: My water…
The buzz in the room stops abruptly as every head turns in her direction, eyes bulging. Jon, who is standing next to The Feath, instinctively takes a step back; not only size his wife up, but also to avoid the splash of uterine fluids on his shoes.
Moving slowly, The Feath reaches for her purse and pulls out a bottle of Poland Springs.
The Feath: Oh, here it is.
The Feath bursts into a devious cackle as every butt in the room gets untight and, between ragged breaths, joins in the laughter. A cacophony of “Man, that ain’t funny!” and “Loooooord, I was ’bout to have a fit!” echoes through the house as The Feath, still pregnant, finally cuts the cake.
Some folks are wondering why questions of sexuality are bring raised for Elena Kagan when they were not done for Sonia Sotomayor. In my mind, it boils down to something fairly basic:
Kagan is white and Sotomayor is not.*
Let me explain. For the type of people who are fond of profiling, Kagan fits the description: white, unmarried, intellectual, not terribly “attractive”. Black or Latina women that fall into that same line aren’t questioned on their sexuality because they don’t “seem” gay; they’re just cast as accomplished yet pitiable career women who have little hope of snaring a mate with whom to settle down.
In the American conscience, to be a lesbian of a certain age is really just shorthand for being a feminist; a card-carrying member of NOW and an acolyte of Betty Friedan. While I won’t go so far as to say the sexual aspect of the questions regarding Kagan’s sexuality are irrelevant, I will say I think these inquiries are more a petty and contemptuous probing of her feminism. (I strongly doubt the president would have the stones to nominate a possibly gay man for the bench
since male sexuality whips people into a different kind of frenzy).
It’s the radical feminist menace that ruffled the old boys’ feather and the representatives of that menace were overwhelmingly–and often deliberately–white.
The feminist movements in the United States had parallel histories split between the predominantly white–and highly exclusionary–narrative and the one that included women of color in this struggle. The former was able to set the tone in many regards and became the face of “what a feminist is.”
For many, feminists are merely smartypants white women that hate men and don’t do as they’re told. Given this perception, the “oh, well she’s probably a lesbian” coup de grace wasn’t/isn’t exactly a leap. In many ways, it’s the white version of being called uppity.
- Kagan = Unmarried White woman intellectual of no particular beauty.
- Lesbians are unmarried White women intellectuals of no particular beauty.
- Feminists are unmarried White women intellectuals of no particular beauty.
- Feminists hate men.
- Lesbians hate men.
- Feminist = Lesbian
- Lesbian = Feminist
- Kagan = Lesbian = Feminist?
*A friend brought up the great point that the reason Sotomayor wasn’t questioned in that regard is because she was married once before. A reasonable point, though not bulletproof. A previous marriage certainly lends itself to avoiding certain questions, though marriage is by no means proof of being straight. Perhaps the figure of Condi Rice is more appropriate in this regard. The questions regarding her personal life were, more often than not, framed as, “Why doesn’t she have a man?” rather than “Is she gay?”
INT./EXT. — NIGHT — ’93 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
In anticipation of Mother’s Day festivities the next day, Jon has taken it upon himself to take The Feath to the local Five Guys for burgers touched by the finger of God. Riding along, they are tuned into 105.7 WROR, an oldies station out of Boston.
After a slight commercial break, the station rotation returns with The Doors’ classic “Love Her Madly.”
As Jon and The Feath jam along, happily anticipating the manna from heaven known as Five Guys, Jon chimes in
Jon: It’s not often you hear that PIANO anymore. It’s like there was a ban put on it after a certain era.
The Feath: Which? The rock n’ roll organ?
The Feath: Definitely. Rock n’ roll organ was the Auto-tune of the 60s.
INT. DAY — THE BEDROOM
Jon and The Feath are attempting to get their new home in order. Boxes are everywhere, clothes strewn about this way and that. As the internet and cable have not yet been set up, Jon has taken a few moments to peruse the Twitternets to see what’s going on in the world
A curious meme has caught his attention and he’s trying to track down its root. He’s sifting through the many tweet fragments, all saying “Who the hell wants to see that?” and “Between this and the soldiers doing the Telephone video, this is apparently the year of Homoeroticism.”
Jon grows tentative as he reaches the origin of the meme, but as a man who conquered the Double Down, knows he must plow forward in search of truth. What he finds horrifies him.
Jon can endure 29 seconds and no more. He cries out. The Feath, who is having a hard time reaching something on the ground, looks up, concerned.
The Feath: What?
Jon shows her the video. The Feath blanches, her eyes glazing in shock and disappoint.
The Feath: We need Marvin Gaye back.
INT.– NIGHT — MIXED MAGIC THEATRE
Having returned to the theatre following after some time spent at the local cinema, Jon and The Feath sit in the theatre’s office area as the elder Mr. and Mrs. Pitts-Wiley set the stage and microphones for a poetry show.
As Jon and The Feath sit, Jon picks up a harmonica from the desk and begins to play it. Jon is by no means a harmonica player; his efforts, though valiant, produce but one chord which he plays over and over and over. The Feath, worn from a full day of errands the gym and a movie can only look at him with a weary but bemused expression. Suddenly, she grins and breaks her silence
The Feath: It would be so great to like…hit you with a cymbal right now while you’re playing that harmonica. Just…the sound you’d make would tickle me.
The Feath laughs a tired laugh. Jon stops mid-chord.
CUT TO BLACK
INT. – NIGHT – THE NEW APARTMENT
Boxes and bags and clothes are still strewn about Jon and The Feath’s new residence. Earlier that evening, some progress was made in the kitchen, progress that allowed The Feath to make tremendous stuffed shells which the two ate at the kitchen table.
At this moment, we find the two sleeping when The Feath suddenly sits up. Jon, always keen to major movements, is stirred from his slumber. He’s groggy, but ready to make moves if need be.
Jon: What’s up?
The Feath: I had a nightmare.
Jon is prepared for the standard nightmare fare: someone killed someone else, something was chasing the two of them, etc. He’s also prepared to be scared by said dream as The Feath has a tendency to do when recounting her dreams. Still, he props himself on an elbow to listen
The Feath (cont’d): I dreamed you threw me away.
The Feath: Yeah. I dreamed you threw me away and there were other wives you threw away too. They were all strung out on drugs and…you threw me away.
Jon is stunned and cannot speak. He can only wonder what he’s projecting to bring the woman he loves to dream dreams like that. Should he say less? Should he say more? He doesn’t know. As The Feath shuffles off to the bathroom, Jon can only stare at the lights coming through the blinds.
It’s only Tuesday morning.