The Fabulous Chronicles: Chapter Four ~ "Like Father, Like Son"

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 10th Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Fictional Narrative

Max's son drake has finally return is call, and they are talking! Where will the conversation lead? A gay father opens up to his gay son.

The Fabulous Chronicles: Chapter Four ~ "Like Father, Like Son"

Finally, after what seemed like years of stunned silence on my end of the connection for I truly had not seen it coming, I broke into his tears.

“Drake, it’s okay. I love you. Just as you are. All that you are.”

“But you don’t understand Dad,” he interrupted, his voice thick with his tears. “I’m not happy about it! I can’t accept it! I don’t want to be gay, Dad! Did you want to be gay?”

“Well, no,” I admitted. “Not at first. I used to pray to God to make me not like this. I prayed for years to be like everyone else, to be normal. Then slowly over many years of watching my kids at school, I became aware that I was normal, or at least maybe I would be if I stopped living the lie with your mom and started doing what my brain told me what I was supposed to be doing.” And then I shut up before I said too much.

The thickness in my son’s voice was reduced to just an occasional sniffling on the other end now, and he began to recount how difficult he felt it was for him breaking into show business at the moment, the pressure to be someone he really wasn’t, to be the hot straight guy. He described how he was probably turning into a much better actor by playing the persona of a straight young man while really being gay right under their noses and trying not to let anyone in the business find out. However, he also felt that it was taking it’s toll on his mental stability.

“Would you like me to come out for a few days, son? School doesn’t start yet for a week and a half. I could squeeze it in.”

“While I’d really appreciate seeing you, Dad, it’s really not necessary. But now that I told you my secret, I may need to call you on a moment’s notice if that’s not a problem?’

I was grinning from ear to ear. “Drake. Please call me anytime, day or night.” A father lives to hear that his child may need to call him.

“It took me forever to get up the nerve to tell you I’m gay. I’m still having trouble getting used to the idea though there’s this guy, well, I may tell you about him sometime. Right now, we’ll see what happens. Who the hell knows? But you’ve gotta promise me that this is our secret. No one else that we know is to found out. Can you do that for me Dad?

He was asking me to be his secret keeper. “Son, did you know that I was gay?” I tossed the ball back into his court.

“Well . . . no.”

“I never told a soul,” I went on. “Never let on to anyone. Never did anything either, but that’s beside the point. My point is that my lips are sealed. If I can keep my secret from everyone but the eyes of God, so shall it be with yours. You’re safe.”

“Thanks Dad,” he sighed on the other end. “I was kind of thinking the same thing already when Denny called me and talked to me after Mom called me with the news. Of course, I didn’t say anything about me. I don’t think anyone’s got any idea about me. Has anyone ever said anything?”

“Not to me they haven’t!” I didn’t mention to him Denny’s gut feeling about his suspicions for me. Drake didn’t need to hear that.

We ended our conversation to check in together more regularly now that we appeared to need each other more than ever. After giving each other our love, we clicked off.

Wow! My second son, gay. How could I have not seen this coming. Had I been so focused on my own sexuality that I’d missed perceiving his?

Over the next few days of introspection I could think of nothing else but my three kids and their gender identities. My oldest, Denny I felt certain was straight. He was so obvious and overt about it. From the time he could walk he was our little GI Joe our walking, talking sports guy. He was all-male and all rough edges, and yet he’d gone on to college where those rough edges had become rounded out, and he’d gotten interested in medical school and the dental end of it. He’d become engaged to his college sweetheart right out of dental school, and they’d set a date next spring. No I felt fairly certain he was straight. He knew what he wanted, and if he wanted gay, he’d be gay. This generation was different than mine was a thousand years ago!

The same with Janey. She’d grown up all girl with her dolls and her girls soccer team. And now she was a budding cosmetologist in training. I hadn’t detected any red flags there.

But as days went on I drew back into the deep well of my memory, and I suddenly recalled a meaningless little vignette I dismissed from years and years ago. I couldn’t believe that I still recalled this absolutely little bit of nothing! Our entire family had been out to Potter Park and the zoo one weekend day during the summer when Drake must have been about 5, and that would have made Denny about 8 and Janey about 3. After we’d finished our picnic lunch, I had gone off for a few minutes with Denny to the monkey bars so that he could show me a new trick or two while Jan stayed back at the table with the two younger kids and they colored for a few minutes before we packed up and headed home. When Denny and I returned a few moments later, Janey and Drake were showing me the pictures they had colored in our absence, and Drake’s for whatever reason showed an over-abundance of pink in it. He was so proud of it! And he announced to me, “Pink is my favorite color, Daddy!”

“Yes, I can see that, Scout.” Scout was my pet name for him during those years. We then packed up our belongings and got in the car and went home.

I put the incident out of my mind. Pink, huh? Drake always was a little more sensitive than his older brother if I really stopped to think about it. What a putz I’d been! I’d been ignoring all along what was right in front of my very eyes!


Coming Of Age, Coming Out, Coming Out Of The Closet, Fiction, Fiction Writing, Fictional Story, Gay, Gay Experience, Gay Men, Lgbt, Narrative, Narrative Writing, Serial, Series

Meet the author

author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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