Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Evening Conversations

A brief interaction or two to demonstrate the dynamic between me and the best husband ever.

"Sometimes it feels as though my legs don't know how to work anymore. They don't feel like anything and it freaks me out." Pause. I wait.
"Mhmm." Dustin responds.
"Does that ever happen to you?" I ask, wanting to confirm that this unfamiliar and strange feeling is not, in fact, strange.

We're hanging out in the new homestead with some Vivaldi playing on our Christmas-present-cable which presents us with a Classical Music-station, among several others, not least of which includes a score of Mexican music stations, some techno and, of course, the ever-necessary indecipherable rap. I realize we've lived in this home for going on a month and a half, but since we only just got rid of the end of the boxed stuff on the bottom two floors of the house, it feels brand new all over again (unboxed, that is). D is reading Plato's "Republic" on his Kindle and occasionally goading me into conjuring up my previous philosophy-major self (who read it twice for school and once more for fun before reading it yet another time for comps a year ago) and would've been glad to expound on it for hours. When he's not goading me, he's reading passages aloud that demonstrate Plato's sexism or other odd argument Dustin finds sort of appalling and humorous, at the least, dogmatic and outdated to our liberal mindsets.

When he finishes a particularly female-bashing passage, I comment:
"It was different back then, though. I mean, he liked men."
"That's obvious," D says reading more examples of Plato's hatred for women from the book.
"No. I mean. He liked men. The Greek philosophers, a lot of them, were gay. They liked men and some of them thought it was unnatural to be with a woman."
Dustin turns this over, trying to decide whether I'm lying or not, then gestures toward the laptop on my lap, "Google "Plato" and "gay."
I do. He reads the support to my claim.
"Ok. Now google "Aristotle" and "gay."..."Socrates..."
Again and again the proof is evident.
Google headlines regarding "Leonidas" and "gay" yield the following results:
               A Facebook Fan Page titled: "I'd go gay for King Leonidas" and
               "A gay day in Thermopylae."

"Soulmates came from Plato, but there's a reason he chose the "bellybutton" as where the two parts to a soulmate split rather than, well, the more obvious separation a man and woman would have. He was thinking of two men as soulmates, not two people of the opposite sex."
Silence as he absorbs these new revelations.
"You know...Plato's discussion on soulmates. The "Symposium?"
He explains that, clearly, he's familiar with this concept, but wasn't aware it came from Plato. Understandable since not all people spent their early tween years wandering the local library's stacks in search of the logic to support what I cynically and innocently believed were irrational claims of being "in love" and having a "soulmate." In my search, I found the philosophers, since I couldn't imagine anything going further back to the beginning of those concepts than them. Now, though, I can see Dustin storing up these pieces of information on Plato, the Greek philosophers, "The Republic," rethinking and revisiting movies he's seen or books he's read, all in the flash of a moment. Sheer enlightenment comes over him.
"So ancient Greece was pretty much the gayest place ever." He states, picking his Kindle back up and seeing Plato more clearly now.

We both go back to our individual reading and writing. Vivaldi serenades in sweeping strings and staccato plucks. The soft chirps of our parakeets who have been covered up for the night peek out from behind their transparent sheet. The German shepherd's deep, sleepy sigh escapes at my feet.

"He's describing a pretty Fascist state," Dustin remarks, "And he's going to bang all these guys."