Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Nephew Sausage Sighting #5: "Do I Measure Up?"
Indianapolis, June 1996
Every summer my parents celebrate Dad's birthday with a barbecue for their family and friends, held the Saturday afternoon closest to June 6th. My sister and I always try to plan our summer visits to coincide with them. This year it should be easy for her, since Mom and Dad have moved to a small town south of Indianapolis, less than 10 miles from Tammy's house.
But she doesn't come to the birthday barbecue.
"Oh, they're busy," Mom says. "[Her husband] Terry is working a lot of hours at the car dealership."
I call to suggest that we get together for lunch during my visit. I get the answering machine.
I try again. She doesn't return my call. After I fly back to San Francisco, I try a third time. No answer.
I ask Mom what the problem is.
"You'll have to work it out between you," she says. "Don't drag me into it."
No birthday card in November.
I stay in San Francisco for Christmas. I send Tammy a present, but she doesn't send me one. I call on Christmas Day, but after a "Hi! How are you?", she makes an excuse and hangs up.
No more contact. Tammy and Terry and their son cease to exist.
As far as I can tell, they figured "it" out, and they recoiled in homophobic horror.
My family practices a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. They never actually use the "g" word, or refer to my boyfriends as boyfriends ("This is Lane, Boomer's...um...friend"). Still, after meeting Viju, Fred, and Lane, and hearing about Alan, Raul, Peter, David, Corbin the Gym Rat, Kevin the Vampire, and Michael J. Fox, you'd think Tammy would get a clue.
Oddly, my brother, the fundamentalist Nazarene, always invites me to stay at his house, and has no qualms about putting me in the bedroom next to his teenage nephews. Not a problem. It's Tammy, the liberal Methodist, who freaked out, who didn't want me around her kid.
Silence. I hear about Tammy and her family from my mother's weekly telephone calls, but I have no contact.
Then, after six years of ostracism, Tammy shows up at the 2002 Birthday Barbecue, bearing gifts, asking if I have met "a special guy," chatting and joking as if nothing has happened.
Approaching 40, she has become plump, almost zaftig.
Her husband Terry is bald and buffed, almost ready to become a leather daddy.
And Joseph, age 12, is slim, fey, and theatrical. He has done some modeling for magazines, starred in a local tv commercial, and now he is starring in a community theater production of The Little Prince.
"Oh, you have to come!" Tammy exclaims. "It would mean so much to him!"
I hate The Little Prince, and I doubt that the fey, theatrical blond cares very much about a guy he hasn't seen since he was five years old, but I go.
The next day, Tammy invites me out for pizza. "You have to tell Joseph all about your life in New York! Didn't you meet a lot of Broadway stars? And Andrew Lloyd Weber?"
I'm living in Dayton, which is only two hours from Indianapolis, so I can visit whenever I want. Like when my nephew Joseph is singing at a regional glee club competition in Edinburgh, Indiana.
Joseph (never Joe) is fifteen years old, a kinky-haired blond, very fey, swishy and limp-wristed, with that nasal "gay accent" voice. He wears bright pastel shirts and tight bulging jeans and plastic bracelets.
In spite of his parents' assurance that he is "girl-crazy," he never mentions a girl, but he has a series of male pals.
And his parents are always pushing us together, sending us out for pizzas, asking me to pick him up from school, inviting me to all of his recitals, plays, and concerts.
I suspect that they're looking for me to be a role model, showing him that it's ok to be gay.
Without anyone ever saying the "g" word.
Indianapolis, December 2008
Joseph is eighteen years old, still a fey, swishy blonde. He's a freshman at Indiana University, planning to major in East Asian Languages and theater.
A few days before Christmas, he calls. "Can you come up to the house this afternoon? I want to ask you something."
While your Mom and Dad are at work? What for?
"Well, why can't you ask over the phone?"
"No, it has to be in person. It's private -- I'm a little nervous about it."
I'm nervous, too. I don't understand what Joseph is planning. Is he just going to come out? Or does he expect an uncle-nephew sexual escapade?
When I arrive at Tammy's house, Joseph offers me a handshake -- his hand is damp! -- then sits me down on the couch. next to the Christmas tree. We're sitting very close together. I put the cat on my lap and start petting her to get my mind off my crotch.
"I'm kind of nervous," he says. "It's...well, you know, I've never done it...you know, sex...before."
Uh-oh. He is planning on sex!
"You're an expert on this sort of thing, so...um...I need your honest opinion."
Before I can respond, he drops his pants, displaying an average sized cut penis and rather small balls.
I stare, very uncomfortable. I certainly don't intend to go down on Joseph. His parents trust me around him! But...are they pushing us together? Do they expect something to happen?
"What...um...are you showing me your cock for?"
"I might have a chance to have sex next week, on New Year's Eve, and I was wondering, am I big enough?" Joseph says. "I mean, you've seen a lot of cocks. Do I measure up?"
Um...I could judge better if I could see it aroused.
No, I don't say that!
"Don't worry, dude, you're totally hot. Any guy would be glad to go out with you."
"Or any girl?"
"My date's with a girl. We've been going out for a couple of months now, and she said on New Year's Eve she wants to go all the way."
Oh well, at least, I got a sausage sighting.
See also: Is My Nephew Gay?; and The Best Friend of Terry the Homophobe