JJ came into the kitchen, took one look at me, and said, “What’s wrong with you?”
I was sitting at the table with the laptop while Mom cooked breakfast. “There are new pics of Zach. Taking out the garbage, for chrissakes. Why would anyone spy on him that way?”
“Because he’s famous? Because he just came out? Because bottom feeders need to make a living, too?” He gave Mom a half hug before sitting opposite me. “What is this thing with you and Quinto?”
I shrugged. “Dunno. Just like the guy, and he’s a hell of an actor.”
“Uh-huh.” He poured himself a glass of juice from the carton on the table. “Those pictures are taken because of people like you.”
Mom chimed in, “In my youth, we only had magazines. There wasn’t this kind of immediacy in knowing what our favorite actors were up to. I bet it’s much harder on them these days, the constant media attention. Internet makes it so easy to disseminate information.”
Embarrassment flowed through me. They were right. If I and a zillion other people weren’t eager for news about him, the paps would leave him alone. Hell, in ten years, they probably would; some hot new young stud or three would have come along by then.
Mom set plates of food before us: omelets and hash browns. “Thanks,” I said, smiling at her. JJ echoed me, and we started to eat. “Don’t you have some secret crush on someone?”
“Emile Hirsch is sexy. You know, the guy from Into the Wild.” He stuffed a forkful of hash browns into his mouth. “I think Jon Groff is cute, especially after your recent Glee marathon.”
“I like Robert Redford. Used to like Paul Newman but he’s dead now.” Mom sat with her own plate.
Speaking to JJ, I said, “He was only in the last three or four episodes, and he was with Quinto for a long time, maybe a year and a half.”
He raised an eyebrow. “How do you know this? And was?”
“Every true fan of Zach’s knows this,” I said huffily, “and in this morning’s gossip was an item about Groff being seen picking up the check for some guy I don’t know. Probably a theater dude. I think he was in How to Succeed.”
Laughing, JJ poured more juice for Mom. “I’ll bet you anything, the average fan has no idea who Quinto’s been linked with. They’re not that interested.”
“But they are, JJ,” Mom said, buttering toast. “I knew Redford was seeing Sonia Braga after his divorce, and I wasn’t even all that interested. It was just out there, like all the Beatles songs. You picked it up by osmosis.”
“I think it’s sad they broke up,” I commented, and then added for her, “Not the Redfords. I’m talking about Zach and Jon. They seemed to be a good couple.” Frowning, I ate some of the delicious omelet. It was Mom who taught me to make them so well. “They were in love last year at Sundance.”
“How do you–?” JJ shook his head. “Never mind. I have to accept that somehow you know this and I’ve decided I don’t want to know how.”
“Connections,” Mom said. “Redford, your gay couple, Sundance. Isn’t that interesting?”
I asked, “How many gay couples do we know that are still together?” It was a serious question.
“I know one,” Mom offered. “Amy and Gail. They own a bookstore/antique place in Cleveland. I stop in to say hi every time I’m in town.”
I said, “Two women seem to be able to maintain a relationship better than two guys. Why is that?”
“Less testosterone,” JJ said.
She nodded. “Yup, that’s probably it. When you’re young, you’re driven to fuck as much and as often as possible.”
JJ looked at her adoringly. “You are so cool. Why aren’t you my mom? Fen doesn’t deserve you.”
“Hey! I do, too.” Suddenly we were all smiling.
Maybe JJ and I wouldn’t make it.
But maybe we would.