Sunday, July 25, 2010

They stood at the elbow of the bus - you know the part I'm talking about, the part where the back end is joined to the front on those extra long buses, which are blue in the city. But out in the far suburbs, the extra-long buses are red like all the other buses. The husband and I were on our way back from his great niece's fifth birthday, sitting and sweating in the back and watching the two boys in the bus's elbow.

They were somewhere between 20 and 24. The shorter one, with his wide smile and perfect white teeth, was in love with the taller one. Anyone could see it. The way he couldn't take his eyes away from the taller boy's face. The way he straightened the taller boy's collar. The way he kept moving his hand on the hand grip so that his fingers were touching the taller boy's fingers. It was all he could do not to hold onto the taller boy.

I sat in my seat and smiled wistfully. I'm surrounded day in and day out by straight people who very visibly show they are in love. They don't have to think twice about it. But for a great big homo like me to show I'm in love becomes a huge statement. So I don't do it, and neither does anyone else in Sweden, not really. So to see my own life reflected in those two boys, it tugs at my heart, and I'm enraptured.

Did you see those boys, I asked the husband as we got off the bus.

"Yes," he said, smiling at me. "I think the one guy liked the other guy more. We're almost home, thank god."

The Swedish phrase for the day is ett par. It means a couple.

18 comments:

Sabine said...

This post melted my heart. I do believe some day not too far into the future gay couples won't have to think twice about it either :)

esotericbehavior said...

Aw Francis, this post was so delicately sweet. I loved this little glimpse of your observation.

susank said...

Beautiful. I often think about this too, as I enjoy watching couples in love-- so sweet but sad that some love is not as accepted as others.

des von bladet said...

A sweet story, for sure.

But mostly I have a request: your entries come out a bit wonky in my RSS reader, and I suspect this is because your HTML is slightly idiosyncratic. When closing a "font color" tag, you only need to put "font" (without "color") in the close-tage. And the italic tag is just "i", rather than "ital".

des von bladet said...

Thanks!

Francis S. said...

No, thank you Des!

k said...

This is so beautiful.

ed said...

Hi, typed in 'Learning Swedish' on Google and came across your blog :) Just randomly thought it would be nice to learn the language. Thanks!

Sora Ryu said...

This so beautiful. I hope I can have the same happiness someday.

Your blog is beautiful to. Never stop teaching me Swedish.

Erica said...

A universal moment so beautifully captured! It grieves me that such simple, tender, genuine expressions of love and affection are still not accepted in this supposedly enlightened day and age.

Kerstin Svendsen said...

fint skrivit. made me teary.

Anonymous said...

i think next swedish word should be "lagom"

readersguide said...

Very sweet --

Margaret said...

Poignant story. Isn't it strange that we have no problem with people showing affection to their pets (I love mine, too, but I don't want to be kissing something that's been sniffing butt); but we get all twisted up about adult PDAs?

carina@pocolococreativo said...

This is so great! I love your language as well as your reflections!
As a fellow swede, but living in the Caribbean, I love to see and take notice of those things in this society where I am living at present...

Lindsay said...

This is officially my favorite blog post ever. I keep coming back to it...

Thank you!

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