He Could Have Been in Pictures

Breach of Close

The men in my family were good providers or drifters to be pitied. They could be brave, like the uncle who was an Army paratrooper, or successful, like Uncle Pete, a businessman with a thriving tax business, a funeral parlor and a small convoy of hotdog carts. Some, like my father, were called decent and hard-working. The rare few who remained unmarried and childless and left the area of the three counties in which all my other relatives lived were rarely spoken of, but when they were, it was in that tone of anxious sympathy my aunts reserved for acquaintances who had gone bankrupt or lost a finger in an accident.

But no one ever called any of my uncles or cousins or any of the more numerous and distant relatives who appeared at weddings and funerals beautiful. With the phrase’s disturbing undercurrent of femininity, a beautiful man was someone…

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