I recently noticed in our referral log that somebody had been sent to “About Last Night” as a result of searching Google for “terry + teachout + gay.” Curious as to what else this anonymous investigator succeeded in turning up, I clicked through to the search results and saw…well, not much. Outside of my review of Mystic River (in which I mentioned Marcia Gay Harden) and a passing reference to Cole Porter’s The Gay Divorce, I found only coincidental juxtapositions of those three words that happened to pop up on the same URL. If someone out there in cyberspace was longing for the lowdown on my private life, I fear the party in question came up empty-handed.
I can’t help but wonder what prompted this mysterious electronic inquiry. Might it have been an uncomfortable reader who, puzzled by my consistent failure to conform to his firmly settled politico-aesthetic preconceptions, longed to stuff me into a more reassuring pigeonhole? Or was he merely looking to add an item or two to a file somewhere or other? In either case, my suggestion is simple: ask Our Girl. She knows all my secrets. (So do the FBI and the White House, but they’re not telling.)
Alas, anyone who knows me more than casually would be likely to dissolve into helpless giggles if asked such a question. My sexual preferences are laughably self-evident, not to mention single-minded, though I doubt you could figure them out by administering a cultural questionnaire via e-mail. I mean, what kind of weirdo likes Rio Bravo and Pacific Overtures? Or Mark Morris and the Louvin Brothers? (Well, Mark does, but then he’s really weird.)
The point being, of course, that it simply doesn’t matter, nor should it (unless you’re going out on a date with me, in which case it’s highly relevant). I don’t put all of myself on this blog, or into my published writings, but the part I exhibit in public is absolutely, unequivocally the real right thing. I am, in short, what I seem to be, and if you don’t think it adds up, let that be a lesson to you: the only way to stuff a human being into a pigeonhole is to cut off pieces until he fits.
UPDATE: I came back from lunch to find a new search in the referral log: “terry + teachout + claims + he + isn’t + gay.” Oh, puh-leeze.