I DISCOVER PORNOGRAPHY [Part one of the series “Several Really Kinda Gay Things I Did Before I Was Really Kinda Gay”]

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Patrick’s dad was a bit younger than mine, and, therefore, cooler. He swam and wore turtlenecks. On TV you could tell someone older was trying to connect with the youth if they wore a turtleneck. It was appreciated. Another way he tried to curry favor was by “hiding” issues of Playboy in the basement. It was clear that they were being hidden from his wife, but still needed to be readily accessible. They were recent issues, not a collection from his bachelor days.

But did he really think he could hide them from kids who knew every inch of that basement? We spent endless hours down there riding bikes in a tight circle at breakneck speed, conjuring up Bloody Lincoln apparitions, and playing “house” with his older sister, Kathleen. All he did was put them under a pile of beach blankets. He had to have known that we would see the pile of blankets was three inches higher. He might as well have put them into Patrick’s Christmas stocking or taken us to a titty bar.

However, keeping with the elaborate kabuki that this was somehow taboo, we decided to grab just one issue and take it to a corner of the basement where we could not be seen from the stairs. We had to choose pretty much at random which issue to take as Playboy at the time had “sophisticated” cover art that hinted more at turtlenecks than areolas. We knelt on wintering patio cushions, an issue from the previous March before us. We looked at each other and drew our breaths. We were about to receive sacred knowledge. We opened right to the centerfold.

She looked like a Breck Girl. Continue reading