Ed and Hank
Disclaimer: Hank told their story to Annie Proulx. Jack and Ennis are all hers. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. Rating: G $$: Nope.
Links to all previous posts are here:
January 16, 2015...
"Hey, Ed... Ed...!!! They agreed ta hear it...!!!"
"Who agreed ta hear wha'...?"
"Tha' Supreme Court... They're takin' the case... Civil marrage rights are gonna be decided this year... Argued in April... 'N prob'bly decided by the end a June... Fer the whole damn country...!!!"
"Yeah. I'm kiddin'."
"No! I'm not kiddin'...! Why the hell would I be kiddin'...?!?"
"I cain't believe it! I just cain't hardly believe it! I thought they were gonna avoid havin' ta make tha' decision fer the whole damn country fer a good looong time... But they ain't... Whoo hoo...!!!"
"Ya ain't worried they're gonna go 'gainst us...?"
"Nope. Not one l'il bit. Tha' Supreme Court ain't ever ruled ta take away someone's rights once they got 'em... 'N they'd hafta take away a helluva lotta folks' rights to rule 'gainst us... 'cause they know states like this here one would go back on it in a split second... Faster even."
"Damn... 'S really gonna happen then...?"
"It sure is. This year. 'N we're gonna be 'round ta see it, Ed... We're. Gonna. Be. Around. Ta see it....!!! I cain't hardly believe it..."
"Don't go jinxin' it, Hank... Knock on some wood... Three times with yer right hand... Like yer ma used ta say..."
"No need ta do nothin' a the sort... But... Guess it won't hurt none ta humor ya... knock, knock, knock..."
"My head ain't wood, dumbass."
"'S hard 'nough."
"True. But there's plenty a real wood all 'round us..."
"True... 'N... Ya know... I got some real hard wood right here thatcha ya migh' be interested in..."
"Walked right inta that one, didnt I...?"
"You sure did. C'mere, Ed... Let's do us some celebratin'..."
January 27, 2015...
"Wouldya lookit this here headline, Ed... Says, 'In major move, Mormon leaders call for statewide LGBT protections'..."
"Tha' don't sound like them. Mus' be some mistake."
"Must be. Let's take a look at tha' there fineprint... 'Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for passage of laws granting statewide protections against housing and employment discrimination for gay and lesbian Utahns — as long as those measures safeguard religious freedom'..."
"Religious freedom is already protected."
"'Yep. So's... let's read on a l'il more 'n see what 'xactly they mean by safeguardin' their rights that are already safeguarded... Here we go... 'Mormon officials "believe laws ought to be framed to achieve a balance," Oaks said, "in protecting the freedoms of all people, while respecting those with differing values"'..."
"'Differin' values'...? Guess tha'd mean them so-called values held by them so-called religous folks who wanna discrminate 'gainst us..."
"Yep... 'N here's the crux of it... 'In addition to the anti-discrimination measure pending in the Utah Legislature, there is a bill and a constitutional amendment aimed at protecting religious liberties — giving legal protection to individuals who refuse to perform marriages... or provide services... based on their faith'...."
"Them churches already don't gotta marry no one they don't wanna marry... not even their own members..."
"Yep. 'N if'n they're talkin' 'bout civil ceremonies... well... them folks who perform 'em serve the public... 'n not jus' the public they find acceptable-like..."
"So's that's all a buncha bull crap."
"Yep. 'N the rest is even worse... Purty much means that any individual business owner who don't wanna serve gay folks can use their religion as an excuse ta discriminate against us under the law... Snort... So much fer protectin' our rights..."
"Sounds like wha' they really wanna do is re-write freedom of religion so's their members can discriminate 'gainst us."
"That's unconstitutional... Ta discriminate 'gainst a group a people..."
"Sure is. You can not serve someone who's 'causin' a ruckus... or botherin' folks... or somethin'... But ya cain't pick no entire group a folks 'n say ya ain't gonna serve 'em on accounta you 'n yer god don't much like 'em."
"'Course it's no surprise tha' they're tryin' it..."
"So's... How the hell are they gonna tell we're gay If'n they don't know us...?"
"Good question. 'N you can be damn sure tha' there ain't no answer to it tha' wouldn' violate tha' there U.S. Constitution."
"'N how the hell would we know where not ta go inta..? 'N Bill 'n Betty too... On accounta ya know they won't spend their money nowheres where gay folks wouldn' be welcome."
"Hell... Only way would be ta make sure them bigots gotta put their hate where their mouths are 'n put up big ol' signs in their windows... 'n disclaimers in any advertisin' they do... statin' who 'xactly they hate 'n wanna discriminate against so's that we... 'n anyone else who don't wanna give 'em their money... knows not ta go ta tha' business..."
"Hell... Them folks ain't gonna wanna put their hate up in big block letters..."
"'S the least they could do... Show their hate ta the world 'n not hide it under no rock..."
"Well... Don't bet on tha' law makin' 'em do no such thing..."
"'S amazin' how folks who run around lamentin' how persecuted they been got no trouble persecutin' other folks."
"Is righ' peculiar."
"Ya know wha' though... Just occurred ta me... It'd actual-like be great if'n tha' Mormon church got the Utah legislature ta do it... ta put their hate inta writin' again... by makin' it a law or amendin' the Utah constitiution... again..."
"'Cause then tha'd give us gay folks somethin' ta sue in federal court... again..."
"Yep. 'N it'd be the exact same thing as before... That's wha' led ta civil marriage fer us bein' legal in this here state a helluva looooong time before we ever expected it... So's... if'n they pass a law allowin' discrimination 'gainst us... it gives gay folks somethin' ta sue... again... in federal court... 'N then not only will it be struck down... again... it should lead ta federal protection against discrimination fer gay folks 'n all states too... Jus' like it's gonna be with civil marriage rights real soon..."
"So's... if'n they do this... they're jus' gonna shoot themselves in the other foot..."
"Yep. Usin' their own bigotry 'n hate as bullets. Only I think they done run outta feet a while back."
"Jeez... Cain't believe what I gotta do..."
"Start workin' ta convince them legislators ta pass a law against us..."
"Ya don't think they're dumb enough ta do it all on their own...?"
"Cain't hurt ta try 'n help it along some..."
"So's... Yer actually gonna work against our rights...?"
"Yep. 'N order ta work fer 'em."
"Yer crazy, Hank."
"Crazy like a fox."
"Crazy like a crazy fox, maybe."
"So's... Ya wanna celebrate, Ed...?"
"Celebrate wha'...? Folks wantin' ta discriminate against us...? 'N you wantin' ta help 'em out...?"
"Yep. A new fight... 'Nother one we're gonna win... Besides... People hatin' on us always gets me goin'..."
"Ev'rythin' gets you goin'."
"Nothin' would get me goin' if'n I didn' have you ta go to."
"Well... Ya know... I migh' just hafta boycott ya fer wantin' ta help folks discriminate against us..."
"I'd like ta see ya try it."
"Prob'bly be prit' near as hard as it were ta quit smokin'."
"I am purty darn addictive."
"But... I managed ta do that... So's I should be able ta do this too."
"Ed... Hey, Ed...? Where ya goin'...? Ed...?!? Dammit."
Later that evening...
"You comin' ta bed...?"
"Not yet. Still boycottin' yer ass."
A little while later...
"'Heear tha' looonesome whiiippoorwill... he sooounds too bluuue ta fly... The miiidnight train is whiiinin' low... I'm so looonesome I could cryyy... I neeever seeeen a niiight so long... When tiiime goes craaawlin' by... The moooon jus' went behiiiind them clouds... Ta hiiide it's face 'n cryyy...' Yep. Lonesome. That's what I am. So damn lonesome. 'Cause I been foresaken by the one I love. Foresaken 'n alone. Lonesome. That's me. 'Didya eeever seee a robin weeep... When leeeaves begin ta' diiie... Tha' means he's lost the wiiil ta live... I'm so lonesome I could cry..."
Bedroom door creaks open...
"You are such a dumbass sometimes."
"A lonely dumbass."
"So's... You gonna end yer boycott yet...?"
"Yeah... No more boycott. I'm standin' by my dumbass. No matter how dumb his ass is. 'N besides... Yer singin' is scarin' the hell outta them dogs 'n tha' poor cat... 'N me too."
"Well... You'll be happy ta know ya changed my mind, Ed... I ain't gonna encourage no one ta pass laws discrim'natin' 'gainst us... No matter if'n I think it'd be fer the best in the end... 'Cause yer right... 'N it ain't."
"Don't think I coulda done it even if'n I'd a wanted to."
"Don't think ya coulda neither."
"Ya know what I could do though...?"
"I think I got some idea."
"I bet you do. C'mere, Ed..."
February 9, 2015...
"Hey, Ed...! More good news...!"
"Here I'll read it to ya... 'The U.S. Supreme Court's move on Monday to allow gay marriage to proceed in Alabama is the strongest signal yet that the justices are likely to rule in June that no state can restrict marriage to only heterosexual couples'... Of the nine justices, only two - conservatives Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia - dissented from the court's refusal to block gay weddings from starting in Alabama... 'N it's Clarence who's throwin' a real hissy fit over it..."
"Never can get over Clarence Thomas bein' against civil nmarriage rights fer gay folks..."
"I know... It don't make no sense... The man is married to a white woman... 'N not so's long ago tha' woulda been against the law in this here country... Yet he's against our civil right ta marry who we love..."
"Don't make a lick a sense."
"Sure don't. 'N here's what else it says... 'Thomas acknowledged in a dissenting opinion that the court's move to allow gay marriages to go ahead "may well be seen as a signal of the court's intended resolution" as it considers cases from four other states on whether same-sex marriage bans are permitted under the U.S. Constitution.'..."
"So... he's mad tha' they're lettin' tha' cat outta tha' bag...?"
"Yep. Only they purty much already let tha' poor cat outta tha' bag when they refused ta hear Utah's case..."
"So... He's just irritated that him 'n all the other bigots are on the losin' side...?"
"Purty much, I'd say..."
"What a dumbass."
"So's... I hate ta break it to ya, Ed... But.. it looks like we're gonna hafta celebrate... again..."
"Well... I guess if we gotta, we gotta."
February 11, 2015...
Listen ta this here headline, Ed... 'Religious-liberty bill seeks to protect Utah LGBT rights while allowing refusal of services...'"
"So's... it's what we thought, huh...?"
"Sounds like it... Let's look at them details... 'The proposal doesn't list specific groups but states all Utahns should be protected from discrimination in employment and housing'... 'N... let's see here... tha' there bill 'also gives individuals, "closely held businesses," religious institutions or their affiliates the right to refuse to provide services if it would violate their religious beliefs. And it would allow religious freedom to be used as a defense in civil or governmental claims of discrimination'... So's.. that's their new tactic... they're tryin' ta put one over on ev'ryone by not namin' us specific-like..."
"That's even dumber... Tha' means any religious folks who own businesses... or anyone who works fer anyone else... can use their religion ta discriminate against anyone their religion don't like..."
"Damn... That anyone who works fer anyone else means even if'n the business owner don't wanna discriminate against anyone... someone who works fer 'em can..."
"Sure sounds like it. 'N sure sounds batshit crazy."
"'N... with wordin' like tha'... it means they could discriminate not just against us gay folks... But black folks too... Hell... them bigots used the bible ta justify them Jim Crow laws... 'N they'll be able ta refuse ta serve other religious folks they don't like too... Like Jewish folks... 'N Muslims... 'N..."
"'N don't ferget them Evangelical-types... My crazy folks were Evangelicals... 'N there weren't no love lost 'tween them 'n them Mormons... my folks thought they weren't Christians... 'S crazy how religious folks don't like each other..."
"Then again... federal law already don't let no one go 'round discriminatin' on the basis of religion... or race... or gender..."
"So's... I guess tha' purty much just leaves us."
"Yep. Bet anythin' they did it on purpose... Tryin' ta make it look like they ain't singlin' us out ta discriminate against... while knowin' damn well it won't mean no one can discriminate 'gainst them..."
"Yep. Real 'Christian'-like of 'em."
"Yeah. What is it tha' Gahndi said... Somethin' like... I like yer Christ a whole lot... but some a yer so-called Christians suck big time."
"Don't think tha' were 'xactly it."
"Gist of it anyways."
"But... I'm gettin' a l'l worried here, Ed... They're using language tha' were used in tha' God-awful Hobby Lobby ruilin' against women 'n birth control... 'N language used in the dumbass "Restoration of Religious Liberty Act".... Even though none a their religious liberties have been taken away... So's there ain't nothin' ta restore..."
"Ya think they got a chance...?"
"Didn't used ta... But... With how crazy folks are these days... They ain't jus' tryin' this kinda law here... other states are tryin' it too... 'N now with tha' judge in Alabama breakin' fed'ral law by refusin' ta issue marriage licenses ta gay folks or ta marry 'em... 'n callin' on judges in other states ta refuse ta do it too... I think things are gonna get a lot more ugly-like 'fore they get better..."
"Well... leastwise we already know who hates us 'n who don't 'round here... Won't 'xactly be no s'prise if'n they pass this... 'N we don't wanna give folks that hate us our money no how."
"Yeah... But... it ain't right that other folks are still tryin' ta find a way ta make us out ta be legal-like second-class citizens... 'N we still gotta keep fightin' it on accounta all them gay folks out there younger than us... But... maybe folks in this here country'll get their act together 'n realize what a wrong road them bigots are leadin' us down 'n get out 'n vote them nutjobs outta office... But that's prob'bly too much ta hope fer..."
"Yeah. But... ya know them bigots won't win in the end... They never do..."
"I know... But it sure don't stop 'em from tryin'... 'N don't stop 'em from hurtin' a whole lotta folks along the way..."
"I know, Hank."
"So's...Guess we don't got no reason ta celebrate nothin' this time..."
"Well... I could least-wise try ta console ya some..."
"Console me, huh...?"
"Yep. You int'rested...?"
"Guess I could use some consolin'... What 'xactly you got in mind...?"
"Somethin' that's guaranteed ta make ya feel better..."
"I like the sound a tha'."
"Jus' let me put this here music on..."
"Yep. Kinda need it... Don't got the 'xact righ' music... But... Here... this should do just fine... 'S a song all 'bout traditional-like marriage 'n the sanctity of it 'n whatnot..."
"Wha' the hell are you talkin' about...?"
"C'mon, Hank... Nothin' like a good polka ta cheer a body up..."
"You wanna polka...?"
"I sure do. 'Course this here's a l'il slow fer a polka... but I think we can manage it..."
"Ain't never seen you polka before..."
"My grandma taught me... On the down low... 'fore my parents decided she were of the devil 'n wouldn' let us see her no more..."
"So's... Can I have this here dance, or not, Hank...?"
"Well... Guess it cain't hurt ta give it a try... Hope not anyways... You ain't gonna try 'n dip me again, are ya...?"
"Nope. There's no dippin' in the polka."
"Okay then... Polka it is...
A minute later...
"Hey... Watch the...!"
"I love yer dumb ass, Ed."
"Love yers too, Hank."
"Never much liked tha' lamp anyways."