The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

The bar was dim. Solitary men hunched over their drinks. These were not individuals seeking others, only the relief delivered by alcohol as it seeped into their bloodstreams and sought out their troubled brains.

No music. No TV broadcast of the game being played across town to the cheers of thousands, tens of thousands. Only the sound of waves on the bay, slapping the pilings of the pier outside.

The bartender drank. It was that sort of establishment.

In the furthest back corner, a couple. Love blooming, like a daisy on a pile of barnyard waste.

“Why must we meet here, my beloved?” said the woman. She slurred her words, as her lips hung in tatters.

“I want to take you everywhere, my love,” said Captain America, “yet I am afraid.”

“Afraid that I would shame you, in front of all the country?”

“I love my country, but its citizens are sometimes small-minded. They deny legal recognition to those who are different. They deny your right to marry the so-called normal, just because you’re undead and rotting. They cast opprobrium upon our love.”

Captain America reached for the hand of his lover. When it came off, he pulled out a roll of packing tape and reattached the straying part to his sweetum’s wrist.

“You’re getting good at that,” she said.

“I’ve had a lot of practice, especially after all your limbs dropped off during last night’s moment of highest passion.

“Perhaps folks would be more accepting if we took the tape off my arms and legs when we date, and you just wheeled me around without them, like a quadruple amputee.”

“Even better than that,” said Captain America, “I was thinking that I could put your head in a box. At the movies, I’d open the lid in the dark so that you could see out. At the restaurant, I’d put the box under the table by my feet, and spoon raw flesh down to you from my pocket when nobody was looking.”

“You are so thoughtful, my darling. Come, let us head back to the sleazy hotel we’ve been using, where you can use the stapler and even the nail gun to shape me up for a night of bliss.”