Like a fool, I waited until the last minute to get my tickets to Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and so I ended up having to see it at a theater on the east side. (For those of you who don’t know Manhattan, crossing from the west side to the east side or vice versa, while not physically too difficult, is the psychological equivalent of swimming the English Channel naked and bleeding when it’s full of sharks.)
In any event, as I sat knitting on the crosstown bus, a boy of six or seven across the aisle spoke to me. He asked, “What are you knitting?”
Now, I do not ordinarily like to be spoken to when I’m knitting on public transportation (though being spoken about is a different matter entirely–there’s no joy quite like that of hearing people whisper, “What’s he knitting, it’s so complicated, I used to be able to crochet but I would never have the patience to do something like that”) and I also hate children. One would think these two facts in combination should have inspired me to a stony silence, but somehow I didn’t mind.
“A glove,” I answered condescendingly, glad to be able to broaden the child’s horizons.
“I just finished a scarf,” he said, “in fisherman’s rib. Now I’m working on a hat in a cable stitch.”
As soon as I recovered my equilibrium, I responded. What I said was, “That sounds terrific. Good luck.”
What I wanted to say was, “Does your mother know how gay you are?”