What happens when you give Gary Lutz to a 14-year-old

Posted by @ 12:41 pm on December 3rd, 2008
these kids don't know me or you or Gary Lutz

these kids don

The other day I was somewhere waiting on something with a fourteen-year-old kid that I know and he didn’t have anything to read and I happened to have two books: Happy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi and Stories in The Worst Way by Gary Lutz. For some reason I thought this would be a good time to expand said kid’s literary horizons, but I was wrong. It was not. He took one look at the cover and grimaced.
“It’s good,” I said, “and they’re really short, so you can just read one and see if you like it.”

He opened to a random page and started “Waking Hours” by first reading the title outloud and seeming unpleased with it.

After he got a page and a half into it he said, “Oh, Nope. Too weird. Ew.”


“Right there, look at that,” he said, pointing at a paragraph and scowling.

He was pointing at the word “seepages” and I thought for a second that this was the one about the guy with cloitis, but that wouldn’t make sense because what 14-year-old wouldn’t want to read about a guy with cloitis? Well, actually, probably not this one because his favorite show is Friends and he’s recently discovered that he likes using a stair master.I don’t know. You figure it out.

But this one wasn’t the one about the guy with cloitis anyway, it was the one about the gay, divorced, depressed guy who thinks people in his apartment are arranging their furniture exactly like his and mirroring all of his actions. It was the word “seepages” that pissed him off. Seepages. If he had gone on to read another paragraph he would have gotten to the gay bar scene, but I think he was skimming anyway.