I climbed out of the yellow Volks Wagon beetle and gathered plastic grocery bag straps in my hands. I could smell the smoke of mesquite wood, and Steve approached me and Daisy as we gathered the groceries, the dog leading the way. The smoke of cigarettes and of a campfire greeted us when he did. “I got something I want to tell you guys.”
Edward came shortly after and bellowed, “Are the boys here?” I looked around. I hadn’t seen them since I left. “You guys gotta hear this.”
“Yeah, you tell them,” Steve urged.
“Alice was going to look something up on Steve’s tablet, and she saw an inappropriate image of a person of both genders. “And she was just like, ‘awe, Steve’.”
Daisy realized, “Is that what we heard over the phone?”
“Yeah,” Steve answered. “I realized that it was probably time to come out to you guys, because I want to be honest, and I don’t care anymore about what other people think. I’m bi.”
“Okay. Cool,” was my response.
Edward elaborated for me. “Man, we don’t care.” Steve elaborated a little, saying that he’d been hinting at it a few times with some things that he had said, like teaching Daisy how to tip a male stripper. I figured it was a joke and almost completely forgot he’d said that until he reminded me. I wonder if he was disappointed that we weren’t more excited for him, or relieved that our image of him didn’t change in the slightest. This got me to thinking of how our culture could be advancing in a way that accepts everyone, the way that everything is accepted by nature. Sure, flocks of birds will pick on the weakest link and even kill them off, and may even pick on them for the color of their feathers. But the coyotes don’t care which color of bird they get, as long as they can catch one.
“Did you want us to throw a coming out party?” I asked, half joking, half concerned we might be ignoring something he secretly wished for.
“Nah nah, that’s fine. I just feel better now that I’m not hiding it anymore.”