Monday, June 22, 2020

Reader's Diary #2172- Michael V. Smith: Weinmeier

Michael V. Smith's short story "Weinmeier" came to my attention via Twitter when someone remarked their amusement over the length of a penis described. I read the money-shot paragraph at the time, and while I found it amusing, it also seemed like a Penthouse Forum story (or whatever the gay equivalent of that would be). I was surprised that it was in Joyland, a magazine that has a decidedly more literary reputation.

So I gave it a second chance, the whole story this time, and yeah, it's quite good. I think what I like the most about it was the reflective tone of the narrator. He recounts a time in his life when he's able to acknowledge the lessons he's learned in the meantime while still be in awe over the confidence and immortality of youth. He was a young man working in a bookstore finding hook-ups when they presented themselves. And on that note, his youthful attitudes were wildly discordant with the realities for gay men in Toronto at the time who could not publicly seek partners. The result is a nostalgic story of summers and flings but with a hint of sadness and danger underneath.

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