Image

Guest post ☞ David Pratt

What a week it’s been. A week of romance, of bedroom slippers, of heroism, of great books, of pumpkins and cheese and true love. As my little friend Andrew, who is seven, would say, “That’s EPIC!!!”

Sunday afternoon I carved a pumpkin for Andrew, according to his own design. His mom, our friend Dora, lit it up with a big spherical purple candle. It sat on their dining room table in Madison, Wisconsin, looking askance at the pumpkin casserole we had for dinner.

DSC07987

Andrew is the only one I carve pumpkins for. Andrew is adorable and on fire. He is who I’d want for a kid. He is multi-ethnic, and when he asks me and my partner, Rogerio, about the school friends we remember, he says, “What color were their eyes?” “What color was their skin?” “What color was their hair?” He wants to know these things about the bullies we remember. Monday morning I felt for Andrew, watching him go off to school. Monday evening he came home and wondered where we were.

Leaves fall outside Dora’s kitchen window—scores of big yellow ones, twisting down. Here in New York, as Simon and Garfunkel sang fifty years ago, “Leaves that are green turn to brown.” Rogerio went to Tampa for a professional conference. I worried about him. He had a full and stressful schedule. He was under the microscope a lot. He came home to a colder New York, a slightly darker New York. He is from Brazil, and an indefinable sickness creeps over him when winter comes. I hold him and enumerate the things that will make it all right: avocado at breakfast, lunch with a supportive friend, afternoon coffee (I bought sunflower bread!), the two of us snuggled in front of “Law and Order” reruns. I think how, in Fiddler on the Roof, the cast describe their beloved village of Anatevka…

“A little bit of this / A little bit of that. / A pot, / A pan, / A broom, / A hat.”

DP reading slippers

And slippers. Don’t forget slippers. Saturday morning Dora talked about how many different people each of us is. Being biracial and a single mom and a professor, she should know. “Some people know David in a business suit,” she said. “Some know him as a writer.” She indicated Rogerio. “You know him at home in his slippers.” After lunch we headed to Milwaukee, where I would read at Outwords Books and Coffee on North Murray Street. Thinking how Outwords makes Milwaukee feel like home and family to me, I packed my slippers. Before the reading, I made a point of changing into them, and explaining why. It was a lightly attended affair, but many there I knew from other readings, and we all stayed and talked quite late.

MMCover

Though I don’t have a little Andrew of my own, somewhere along the way I became a family man. I wrote two novels that reflect the journey toward being a family man: Bob the Book; and especially my latest, Looking After Joey. Joey is a porn character who steps through the TV screen into an average guy’s life. All Joey knows is, he wants sex. Soon he discovers there is more to this world. Including love. Love does, after all, make a home. A few judges and legislators have at last figured that out.

 

As for heroism, where does that come in? Yesterday I watched a lovely interview with conductor Eve Queler, from when she received the NEA Opera Honors Award in 2010. A female conductor? Even today, Queler is one of a very few. Yet she parried every question about the difficulties of being a woman in such a male profession. She spoke only of her love of singers, of song, and of the individuals and institutions with which she worked. She loved music that much, and she knew that much what she wanted from it. And yet, was everything a victory? One door closes, another opens? Did she really always win, somehow? I try not to complain about—rather, I try to own fully—instances where being gay made things difficult for me. I tell myself that gayness, that sexual orientation, is a unique factor in one’s life. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. It should never, ever be an excuse. Yet things haunt me. I recently described to an old college professor how I often did not try things as a young man, because, even if I succeeded at them, it wouldn’t help. Yesterday someone mentioned Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Lost Decade.” I feel like I lost a few decades. The story of how I lost them is in my own book of short stories, My Movie.Bob 300 dpi cover

So that way my week. Epic, eh, Andrew? He is just beginning to understand. May what he understands not dim his eye. May it not dim yours or mine or anyone’s. There is always something to be enjoyed. A hug, a jack-o’-lantern, a friend’s observation, a rerun, a pot, a pan, a broom, a hat.

Giveaway!

Win an eBook copy of Looking After Joey

rafflecopter pic

Click the image or here to enter the Rafflecopter

LookingAfterJoey_cvr2

Check out the book trailer!

About the author

DavidP_0383

 

David Pratt is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Bob the Book (Chelsea Station Editions)

and a new novel, Looking After Joey, from Wilde City Press. His short stories have been collected in

My Movie, also from Chelsea Station. He has published in several periodicals and anthologies. He has

presented work for the theater in New York at HERE, Dixon Place, the Cornelia Street Cafe, the Flea

Theater and the NY International Fringe Festival.

 

 

 

 

Buy Links

Bob The Book

Looking After Joey

My Movie

Photo and design credits are: all photos (c) 2014 Eva Mueller, except slippers, by Larry Wheelock; and jack-o-lantern by David Pratt. Joey cover, photo (c) 2014 Eva Mueller; model, Nicholas Gorham; design, Adrian Nicholas; entire cover (c) 2014 Wilde City Press. Bob and My Movie: cover designs by Peach Boy Design and Distillery, (c) 2010 (Bob) and 2012 (MM) by Chelsea Station Editions.

Advertisements

14 comments on “Guest post ☞ David Pratt

  1. First of all, I really like the cover for Looking After Joey and the video was too cute and looked like fun to film. Second, The Slippers! Oh, the slippers. I can’t be without them once the weather turns cold. I just got me some fuzzy ones that are oh, so comfortable and keep my feet nice and warm. Third, I truly believe that the hardest ‘job’ anyone could ever have/be is being gay or woman. The injustices are too tremendous and it’s about time this world saw us as the strong people we are. It’s about we receive the equality we deserve, be that in jobs and/or life in general.
    Much success to David with his newest release and thanks for the giveaway.
    taina1959@yahoo.com

  2. I wonder how long that photo shoot took, as the model so fitted the image and actions I had for Joey after reading the reviews for this book; boyish, innocent, with milk dribbling down his chin… I enjoyed reading this post it covered so many things, I thought what wonderful role models you and your partner are for Andrew, yes slippers are very important and that I tried to get into a job that was considered male dominated, even with all the qualifications I had and reasonably good communication skills it was still very difficult.

    Thank you for a chance to win a copy of Looking After Joey, I am very intrigued to see how the story develops and does he go back to porn land?

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Sula! The shoot took about three-and-a-half hours with a lunch break. We tried some other concepts before the cereal and milk (a reference to a running joke in the book). Nicholas is an actor as well as a model, so he could easily change moods and scenarios as directed and come up with ideas on his own. He was a consummate professional, as was Eva, the photographer (more of her work is on view at evamueller.com; NSFW). For the essay, I took as my model E. B. White’s informal Harper’s essays from the 1940s, especially “A Week in April” and “A Week in November.” Call mine “A Week in October.” Thanks again for reading and commenting, Sula! David

  3. The lucky winner of the eBook of Looking After Joey is Sula. Congratulations, Sula. David will be in contact about getting the book to you. Enjoy! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s