I have no interest in Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan or the rest of the tabloid favorite Celebrity Train Wrecks, but I have to confess that Eric Massa has become a riveting spectacle for me. (Everything is relative; “riveted” in this case means two or three surfs on his name in the last week.)
I think it’s just the open-mouthed bewilderment I feel at a guy whose life history appears peppered with egregious boy-boy horseplay yet who in the year of our Lord 2010 seems determined to deny that he has ever had any homoerotic feeling. News flash, Eric, the august body to which you briefly rose has been home to Barney Frank since 1982, Barney’s been way out of the closet since 1987, and almost no one outside the Westboro Baptist Church gives a flip.
If any guy in my life ever jumped on a bed with me, tickled me, and unfastened my clothing, to say nothing of “groping,” he was either my husband/boyfriend or an ambulance call about to happen. (I would actually have been grateful if some of the men I dated had been anything like this frisky; it must be the xeno-estrogens seeping into the water table, or something.) I can’t even begin to comment on “snorkeling.”
I once knew an evangelical lad from the disturbingly named town of Wyckoff, NJ, who inexplicably matriculated at my alma mater, already notorious as a hotbed of hot beds and other counter-culture phenomena. He stuck up a “He Died For You” poster with a crown of thorns on his door, laid a cheesily scripted Jesus rap on people in the dining hall, and one day leapt on a slightly effeminate friend of ours in the back of the college mail room (some of us liked to hang out with the postmistress) shouting “Absalom, Absalom, O thou most beautiful of the sons of Israel!” Custard Buns, as our cherubic friend was nicknamed, crawled desperately out of the mailroom, kind of scraping Wyckoff from his back along the way and shouting to us to throw his books and coat after him. “Just funnin’ ya,” Wyckoff insisted. But that was in 1974, for Chrissake.
Things like this are just pitiful. But somehow you can’t stop looking.