Hola. Back to Ginny, who I am now positive I ship. And guess what I found out? They’re making ASP MUSICAL! The guy playing Finny is HOT. That’s right, producers. Gene’s not bad either. Look above to see these humans.
Forgot one in Chapter 3:
“You’re too good to be true,” I said after a while.-page 36
To me, that seems like something you say to you lover, not your bff.
And now on to Chapter Seven. The first quote here makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s SO awkward. First pointed out to me by Roxy of Roxy’s Blog.
“There was nothing idiosyncratic about Brinker unless you saw him from behind; I did as he turned to close the door after him. The flaps of his garbardine jacket parted slightly over his healthy rump, and it is that, without any sense of derision at all, I recall as Brinker’s salient characteristic, those healthy, determined, not over exaggerated but definite and substantial buttocks.”-page 79
HE JUST CHECKED BRINKER OUT.
HE TOTALLY DID.
THIS IS EVERY BIT OF PROOF I NEED.
“I felt a thrill when he said it. This was the logical climax of the whole misbegotten day, this whole out-of-joint term at Devon. I think I had been waiting for a long time for someone to say this so that I could entertain these decisive words myself.
To enlist. To slam the door impulsively on the past, to shed everything down to my last bit of clothing, to break the pattern of my life—that complex design I had been weaving since birth with all its dark threads, its unexplainable symbols set against a conventional background of domestic white and schoolboy blue, all those tangled strands which required the dexterity of a virtuoso to keep flowing—I yearned to take giant military shears to it, snap! bitten off in an instant, and nothing left in my hands but spools of khaki which could weave only a plain, flat, khaki design, however twisted they might be.
Not that it would be a good life. The war would be deadly all right. But I was used to finding something deadly in things that attracted me; there was always something deadly lurking in anything I wanted, anything I loved. And if it wasn’t there, as for example with Phineas, then I put it there myself.
But in the war, there was no question about it at all; it was there…
It was a night made for hard thoughts. Sharp stars pierced singly through the blackness, not sweeps of them or clusters or Milky Ways as there might have been in the South, but single, chilled points of light, as unromantic as knife blades. Devon, muffled under the gentle occupation of the snow, was dominated by them; the cold Yankee stars ruled this night. They did not invoke in me thoughts of God, or sailing before the mast, or some great love as crowded night skies at home had done; I thought instead, in the light of those cold points, of the decision facing me.
Why go through the motions of getting an education and watch the war slowly chip away at the one thing I had loved here, the peace, the measureless, careless peace of the Devon summer? Others, the Quackenbushes of this world, could calmly watch the war approach them and jump into it at the last and most advantageous instant, as though buying into the stock market. But I couldn’t.
There was no one to stop me but myself. Putting aside soft reservations about What I Owed Devon and my duty to my parents and so on, I reckoned my responsibilities by the light of the unsentimental night sky and knew that I owed no one anything. I owed it to myself to meet this crisis in my life when I chose, and I chose now.
I bounced zestfully up the dormitory stairs. Perhaps because my mind still retained the image of the sharp night stars, those few fixed points of light in the darkness, perhaps because of that the warm yellow light streaming from under my own door came as such a shock. It was a simple case of a change of expectation. The light should have been off. Instead, as though alive itself, it poured in a thin yellow slab of brightness from under the door, illuminating the dust and splinters of the hall floor.
I grabbed the knob and swung open the door. He was seated in my chair at the desk, bending down to adjust the gross encumbrance of his leg, so that only the familiar ears set close against his head were visible, and his short-cut brown hair. He looked up with a provocative grin, “Hi pal, where’s the brass band?”
Everything that had happened throughout the day faded like that first false snowfall of the winter. Phineas was back.” -pages 93-95
Okay, for one: Gene almost says he loves Finny! Reread the third paragraph of that quote. It’s almost there!
Secondly, Gene decides he is going to enlist. His mind is totally made up, completely, he’s doing it! And then Phineas returns, and “everything that had happened throughout the day faded like that first false snowfall of the winter.” His Finny is back, and Gene decides without even thinking that he will not leave Finny. In the copy my school gave me, someone else had drawn a heart under that last sentence!
“I can see I never should have left you alone,” Phineas went on before I could recover from the impact of finding him there, “Where did you get those clothes!” His bright, indignant eyes swept from my battered gray cap, down the frayed sweater and paint-stained pants to a pair of clodhoppers. “You don’t have to advertise like that, we all know you’re the worst dressed man in the class.”
“I’ve been working, that’s all These are just work clothes.”
“In the boiler room?”
“On the railroad. Shoveling snow.”
He sat back in the chair. “Shoveling railroad snow. Well that makes sense, we always did that the first term.”
I pulled off the sweater, under which I was wearing a rain slicker I used to go sailing in, a kind of canvas sack. Phineas just studied it in wordless absorption. “I like the cut of it,” he finally murmured. I pulled that off revealing an Army fatigue shirt my brother had given me. “Very topical,” said Phineas through his teeth. After that came off there was just my undershirt, stained with sweat. He smiled at it for a while and then said as he heaved himself out of the chair, “There. You should have worn that all day, just that. That has real taste. The rest of your outfit was just gilding that lily of a sweat shirt.”
“Glad to hear you like it.”
“Not at all,” he replied ambiguously, reaching for a pair of crutches which leaned against the desk.-pages 95-96
OH MY LORD. HE JUST STRIPPED IN FRONT OF FINNY. AND FINNY LIKED IT. And he inserts comments on Gene’s clothing!
I found some sheets and made up his bed for him. He wasn’t a bit sensitive about being helped, not a bit like an invalid striving to seem independent. I put this on the list of things to include when I said some prayers, the first in a long time, that night in bed. Now that Phineas was back it seemed time to start saying prayers again. -pages 96-97
Okay, this one only works because of later context. Finny relies on Gene easily, but he will allow no one else to help him. And then we see a nice bit of Gene’s love of Finny when he prays in gratitude for Finny’s return.
“Ready to sign up?” he shouted before he was through the door. “You ready to en—Finny!”
“You ready to en—what?” pursued Finny from his bed. “Who’s ready to sign and en what?”
“Finny. By God you’re back!”
“Sure,” confirmed Finny with a slight, pleased grin.
“So,” Brinker curled his lip at me, “your little plot didn’t work so well after all.”
“What’s he talking about?” said Finny as I thrust his crutches beneath his shoulders.
“Just talking,” I said shortly. “What does Brinker ever talk about?”
“You know what I’m talking about well enough.”
“No I don’t.”
“Oh yes you do.”
“Are you telling me what I know?”
“Damn right I am.”
“What’s he talking about,” said Finny.
The room was bitterly cold. I stood trembling in front of Phineas, still holding his crutches in place, unable to turn and face Brinker and this joke he had gotten into his head, this catastrophic joke.
“He wants to know if I’ll sign up with him,” I said, “enlist.” It was the ultimate question for all seventeen-year-olds that year, and it drove Brinker’s insinuations from every mind but mine.
“Yeah,” said Brinker.
“Enlist!” cried Finny at the same time. His large and clear eyes turned with an odd expression on me. I had never seen such a look in them before. After looking at me closely he said, “You’re going to enlist?”
“Well I just thought—last night after the railroad work—”
“You thought you might sign up?” he went on, looking carefully away.
Brinker drew one of his deep senatorial breaths, but he found nothing to say. We three stood shivering in the thin New Hampshire morning light, Finny and I in pajamas, Brinker in a blue flannel bathrobe and ripped moccasins. “When will you?” Finny went on.
“Oh, I don’t know,” I said. “It was just something Brinker happened to say last night, that’s all.”
“I said,” Brinker began in an unusually guarded voice, glancing quickly at Phineas, “I said something about enlisting today.”
Finny hobbled over to the dresser and took up his soap dish. “I’m first in the shower,” he said.
“You can’t get that cast wet, can you?” asked Brinker.
“No, I’ll keep it outside the curtain.”
“I’ll help,” said Brinker.
“No,” said Finny without looking at him, “I can manage all right.”
“How can you manage all right?” Brinker persisted aggressively.
“I can manage all right,” Finny repeated with a set face.
I could hardly believe it, but it was too plainly printed in the closed expression of his face to mistake, too discernible beneath the even tone of his voice: Phineas was shocked at the idea of my leaving. In some way he needed me. He needed me. I was the least trustworthy person he had ever met. I knew that; he knew or should know that too. I had even told him. I had told him. But there was no mistaking the shield of remoteness in his face and voice. He wanted me around. The war then passed away from me, and dreams of enlistment and escape and a clean start lost their meaning for me.
“Sure you can manage the shower all right,” I said, “but what difference does it make? Come on. Brinker’s always … Brinker’s always getting there first. Enlist! What a nutty idea. It’s just Brinker wanting to get there first again. I wouldn’t enlist with you if you were General MacArthur’s eldest son.”
Brinker reared back arrogantly. “And who do you think I am!” But Finny hadn’t heard that. His face had broken into a wide and dazzled smile at what I had said, lighting up his whole face.-pages 98-100
Awwwwww. Here, we see how Finny refuses to allow Brinker to help him, but a page earlier he was fine with Gene helping him. He wants Gene around, he needs him. He loves him. And once Gene realizes this, “the war then passed away from me.” I find this passage so incredibly sweet, if you’re looking at it romantically.
“The winter loves me,” he retorted, and then, disliking the whimsical sound of that, added, “I mean as much as you can say a season can love. What I mean is, I love winter, and when you really love something, then it loves you back, in whatever way it has to love.” I didn’t think that this was true, my seventeen years of experience had shown this to be much more false than true, but it was like every other thought and belief of Finny’s: it should have been true. So I didn’t argue.-pages 102-103
Okay, read Finny’s words again. Finny’s not talking about the weather. He’s alking about how he loves Gene. He loves Gene, so Gene must love him- as much as he can admit. And some part of Gene understands that, so he doesn’t argue.
“Finny sat down on a bench, struggled out of his sheep-lined winter coat, and took a deep breath of gymnasium air. No locker room could have more pungent air than Devon’s; sweat predominated, but it was richly mingled with smells of paraffin and singed rubber, of soaked wool and liniment, and for those who could interpret it, of exhaustion, lost hope and triumph and bodies battling against each other. I thought it anything but a bad smell. It was preeminently the smell of the human body after it had been used to the limit, such a smell as has meaning and poignance for any athlete, just as it has for any lover.” -page 105
This gym is Finny to Gene. That’s why he loves the smell. And then he mentions lovers, and I had to put this in here.
He drew me increasingly away from the Butt Room crowd, away from Brinker and Chet and all other friends, into a world inhabited by just himself and me, where there was no war at all, just Phineas and me alone among all the people of the world, training for the Olympics of 1944.-page 119
This just seems self explanatory.
Nothing particulary homosexual here.
Next time: We finish ASP! And we prove my whole theory even more than now!