Summer Reading Club – Harry Potter style

Harry Potter needs a sanctuary away from the world, just like the rest of us. Display I made to tautoko the Summer Reading program to engage our rangatahi.

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Went to the pub last night. It was taco Tuesday, the black bean tacos were mighty fine, the $3 Tecate Mexican beer was amber swill in a can that looked as if it had won a design competition during the Cold War hostilities… I digress.

I’m currently reading the third book in a gay erotica/ murder mystery series. The Mitch Mitchell Mystery series. Yes, laugh it up now, for later if you were to pick it up, you would be entranced. I would bet booze on that. Not shonky Iron Curtain era flat beer either. A bottle of Patron. So there.

Said book comes with doozy innuendo title: A Sticky End. It is replete with reclining nude male on the cover and I love it. Of course the males at the table couldn’t help but mock me, not for reading at the pub (which has happened often), but for the highly controversial Mitch Mitchell I was taunting them with.

During the course of the evening the book was set aside so I could talk or eat or drink. Mitch Mitchell didn’t go lonely for long. Those gents whom had previously decried my reading material were suddenly sucked into 1920s London with Mitch and a high rotating cast of all manner of fucking, sucking and loving men. One of my male friends read ten pages past were my bookmark sat. He began reading out ‘juicy’ quotes from the text. I yelled at him for spoiling the story as I hadn’t reached that part of the plot yet. Reading for me is serious business. So is most other stuff I think about, look at, engage with and enjoy. A classic example is the picture taken of me on Sunday afternoon at the beach. In a group of six friends, I am the only one shown looking at the crashing waves as if I am trying to solve the Third World debt problem and also perhaps casually juggle some major philosophical dilemma. It has always been thus, I thought that I had eased up on being the most intense person in the room post – Christchurch sojourn, however it would seem that knowing and doing are definitely two different things.

I had hoped that the various near death experiences would give me some more perspective in regards to my sangfroid but alas I may never be footloose and carefree. I doubt I’ll ever be as casual as Mitch and his mates. They may only hook up for a few  minutes or hours but these queer characters in Mitch’s world have an understanding of the finite opportunity in which they may give and receive pleasure. Even though their activities are highly illegal and punishable at that time by hard labour at His Majesty’s pleasure, these men are in it for a bit of harmless slap and tickle.

It is the polar opposite of most of my interactions within the human realm, these are always long thought out episodes, planned for days or weeks in advance, as though I was going on a campaign across the Himalayas.

I’ve learned a lot from Mitch, some things funny, handy and now poignant. I may not be able to ease up on the throttle of my natural tendency of intensity, but I’m going to be okay with that.