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24th April
posted by amber


My grandparents had an Airstream and I thought it was just nifty – cubby holes and creative storage, everything you needed coming along with you, pulled by your big Oldsmobile. I always was begging them to take me with them, but they travelled in the winter while I was in school, touring around Mexico and Central America.

But as I grew older, I came to reject everything that smacked of bourgeois American life – consumerism, nuclear families, the dominance of gas-guzzler culture. I mocked my grandparents and their big silver can filled with expensive trinkets, toured around in front of people who could barely afford food. Well, I rejected them because they rejected me. I see that now.

So it’s ironic that Pan and I have ended up living in an Airstream. Ironic too that I’m living this monogamous life-style, a comfortable dull middle-aged life-style, with my partner of 16 years.

When my dad threw me out of the house after he discovered me fooling around with the captain of the football team, he told me I’d never amount to anything, that ‘my kind’ wasn’t welcome in a moral society, that I’d end up dying in a gutter someplace.

I spent a few years trying to make that come true, but I am my father’s son, I like to work, to work hard. I like to be my own boss, so I started a business. And after over a decade of playing the field, I met Pan, and he also was a success in his field. We settled down, and sometimes I find myself wishing that my grandparents were still around to see how suburban I’ve become. I feel they might have approved of me more readily than my father and mother did.

Pan and I are more or less retired. We both do contract work and live well between contracts, so there’s plenty of time to travel. And we have Roxie and Rufous, so it’s not easy to find hotels that welcome dogs, especially noisy excitable dogs. The Airstream is perfect. We have all our comforts. We are well accepted by our fellow travellers.

And the bonus is that we have a granddaughter, because a number of years ago Pan donated sperm to a lesbian couple he knew. He kept in touch with them, and now we’re very close to his son and his wife, and Chandelle, the little girl. She’s going to come to Yellowstone with us next July.

I never would have expected to find such happiness in a life that outwardly looks so boring.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

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