An Excerpt from August Farewell:
I only kicked Bill under the table once.
When we first started living together thirty-three years ago, we both had sets of friends who were anxious to meet and pass judgment on the new boyfriend. We were later to recognize that a couple of his friends and a couple of mine had fancied themselves as potential partners for each of us, so they were none too excited about the newcomer.
One evening around the this time, we were having dinner at the apartment of a friend of mine who was expounding rather pretentiously on a subject about which Bill knew a great deal more than my friend. Eventually, Bill had had enough and told our dinner host that he didn’t know what he was talking about. They started to argue.
I, wanting my new boyfriend to make a good impression on my friends, nudged his foot under the table.
I thought that that was a universally understood signal for shut up.
But no, Bill continued on dismantling my friend’s logic with ever more searing critiques.
So I tapped his leg harder.
Actually, I suppose it qualified as an under-table kick, at which point Bill turned to me and said, “Don’t kick me under the table. I can say whatever I want. Just because we are boyfriends doesn’t mean that you own me or can control me.”
Right. Lesson learned.
* * *
This photo, from 1976, was the first of us as a couple. You can’t see Bill’s bruised shin but you can see how he has put me, and is holding me, in my place.
* * *
August Farewell, the memoir of our 33 year relationshp as a gay couple that culminated in the 16 days between Bill’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer and his death, is available through http://amazon.com and other on-line book retailers.
A short YouTube video in which I describe why I wrote August Farewell can be seen at http://bit.ly/jZrEbf
More information on August Farewell, including readers’ comments, reviews, media stories, excerpts, etc. is on my website at: http://DavidGHallman.com