Humor Fiction posted May 14, 2023


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Important Judging

by GWHARGIS

My Uncle Marion steps into the dining room with his usual flair.  My brother says he is feeling for the doorknob in the dark closet and just hasn't located it yet.
 
Uncle Marion is in denial.
 
"Morning, all," he says, his voice higher than most men's.  "Good color on you, Martha." He waves his hand at my plum colored shirt.
 
"So, Uncle Marion, what's going on?" Steve, my older brother asks.
 
"I have news.  I'm shaking," he says, then holds out his hand to show us his tremor.  "See that?"
 
Steve nudges me.  I nudge him back.  After all these years, Uncle Marion is finally going to come clean and find that door knob and come bursting out of the closet.
 
We thought he was going to do it last year after his wife of twenty-nine years passed away.  But he didn't. He told us he had an announcement and all it was, was that he had quit smoking.
 
This time we are prepared.  I went to Party City and bought pennants with rainbows on them.  I even purchased a tiara for him.  It is going to be great.  He will know he's loved and accepted.
 
"Okay, as you know, I've been a widow for over a year now.  I need to tell y'all something.  I hope you will understand and things won't get weird between us."
 
Steve nudges me again.
 
"Uncle Marion, nothing you could possible say would ever change how we feel about you."  I slowly lean down to pull the pennants out of my bag.
 
"I've met someone.  She's phenomenal," Uncle Marion says, clapping his hands together.  "I can't wait for y'all to meet her."
 
I glance over at Steve.  His jaw hangs, his mouth open.  Any words he might have wanted to say, evaporated in thin air.
 
"But, you're gay," I say.
 
"Gay?  Why on earth would you say that?"  He puts his hands on his hips.  "I was married nearly thirty years to the same woman."
 
"Your name is Marion," I offer weakly.
 
"Well, I didn't name myself.  Do you think I would have picked the name Marion?" He looks away, tapping his foot impatiently.  "Gay?  What besides my name would cause you to make such an accusation?"
 
Steve shrugs.  "Well, you stand, well, like you are now.  Guys don't stand like that."
 
"Perhaps I should walk with my knuckles dragging the ground.  Or put my hand on my crotch.  Would that be more manly?"
 
"Sorry," Steve mutters.
 
"Uncle Marion,  we just figured you were pretending while you were married."
 
He sniffs, apparently insulted by our belief.  "Who pretends for twenty nine years?  Really."
 
"Sorry," I say, my voice full of shame.
 
He folds his arms across his chest, tapping his foot again.  "Does everyone think I'm gay?"
 
I look over at Steve.  We both realize we need to be honest.  "Pretty much," Steve says.
 
Uncle Marion looks down, his face awash in disappointment.  "Well, I guess there's no need for me to go on then."
 
"Uncle Marion?"
 
He looks up quickly, a huge grin on his face.  "Oh, you two.  Of course, I'm gay."
 
"Why, I don't understand," Steve says.  "Why did you just make us feel bad for thinking you were gay, if it's true?"
 
Uncle Marion wraps his arms around both of us.  "I did it to show you the danger of making assumptions.  All you had to do was ask me."
 
"I did that!" I say.
 
"No, no, Martha.  You told me.  You never asked me.  You don't think I've heard people whispering about me all of my life?  But no one ever had the nerve to ask me.  No one but my friend Helen.  I told her how scared I was for anyone to find out so she suggested we get married.  She was my best friend.  I miss her so."
 
"I got you something," I say, stepping out of his embrace and bending down to dig out his prize.
 
"Can I put this on your head?" I ask, showing him the sparkling tiara.
 
"Ooh,  yes, please."  He leans down so I can put it on his head.
 
"There you go."
 
He stands up, gently adjusting the plastic crown.  "I love you two.  But don't ever make another assumption about me.  Ask me.  Got it?"
 
"Yes, sir,"  Steve says.
 
I nod as Uncle Marion pulls me back into our group hug.
 
"Fabulous.  Now, since this is about me today, who's paying for brunch?"  He squeezes us extra hard.
 
As he chatters away, I'm pretty sure I hear the closet door fall off the hinges.




Post Number 750
A Milestone Post


This is about the situation and the reaction. It is not a homophobic statement nor a political statement. If you're offended by it, just scroll on. It's just fiction.
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