"Your parents are swingers," Jon Stewart's voice says.
"What?" I say in disbelief. I turn the corner.
Light floods over me; my mother is sitting up serenely on the far side of an enormous bed, modestly covered up to her underarms by sheets and a butter yellow comforter.
"Hi." My eyes rove to the slender male figure face down and lying inert under the blankets; he is outlined perfectly. "This isn't very subtle."
My mother pulls away the bed clothes, and a man shuffles up on his side. He is an unremarkable specimen, and he shrivels from the fury I must be instantly emanating (here is an object now I can focus on! here is the blame!); his eyes refuse to meet mine, and his manner is mousy. These, in their own strange ways, are greater blows than anything else so far. At least let it be artificial, I will have prayed, at least let it all really mean nothing! My stare is of the consistency of charcoal-grey granite as he curls up close to my mother, like a sorry, apologetic fetus. I become angrier.
"We're adults, darling," is my mother's explanation, seeing my face. She and my father, who has appeared from nowhere and is lounging on the edge casually, are obviously pleased with the arrangement. They look at me lovingly, and completely sympathetically. Not only with the plight of confronting the sexual particularities of one's progenitors, but with the jealousy of the comparatively sexually repressed ... aaah. It drives me madder, and I feel like I will explode with my own inferiority.
"But ... why?"
"He's really obedient," my mother says simply.
"I like the way he spanks me," my father says, shrugging.
I wince. I remember suddenly I am still on the line to the Daily Show and neither host nor audience has uttered a peep, as they are too paralyzed with unexpected pleasure. "Goodbye," I bark to the silence, and snap the phone shut. The Daily Show isn't call-in. It isn't this smutty. This is really all too much.
posted at 2:29:16 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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