I was thinking about something the other day. Never
has my family screamed at me or shunned me because
of who I dated. Plus, I've never been harassed or
taken a punch because of who I kissed or held hands
with. Not only that, but when I got married, I did
so in the pinko commie state of Massachusetts;
however, I could have gotten married in whatever part
of the country I wanted. It's truly amazing.
Wait. No, it isn't amazing. That's how it's
supposed to be.
I read DeeJay Arens' debut novel The View From a
Rusty Train Car from Writers AMuse Me Publishing
in three days on breaks during a conference in
San Francisco, of all places. I could hardly put
it down. While also being touching and well-written,
this book reminds us that all of these things I
mentioned earlier should not be taken for granted.
It's a story of two men in love, and the consequences
of that love.
In a time of angry pro and anti Chick-Fil-A
arguments, Arens presents a normal love story.
Well, it should be a normal love story; it's
really anything but. Not because of the same-sex
nature of the love, but rather the reaction to it.
It's a tale that everyone - whether strongly for
gay marriage, decidedly against it, or somewhere
in between - should read.
It is a love story. Not a rant, as it could be.
And if you think the things that happen in it
are far-fetched, do some Googling. For that,
other than the writing itself, is the amazing
thing about Arens' novel. It all happens. We'll
all be ashamed of it one day, but it happens.
But to Arens' credit, the numerous antagonists
are never presented as hateful bigots, but rather
- as they often are in real life - childish thugs,
disapproving family members, or the overly-religious.
There's been a lot said and written about gay rights
over the years. I've chimed in via essays and stories
myself. Do yourself a favor, especially if you're more
likely to be in opposition, and read The View From a
Rusty Train Car. If it doesn't get you thinking, I
don't know what will.