We are happy to bring you the third and final part of Gomorrahs of the Deep, a Musical Coming Some Day to Off-Broadway by Steve Berman, a gay musical short story from his upcoming anthology. Missed Part 2? Catch up here: http://www.gayya.org/?p=289

 

“Where did you get the guitar,” Hugh asked when he saw me sitting in the front row in English. For the first, and last, time.

“I borrowed it from the music department.”

He smiled. “Do you even know how to play?”

“No, that’s why I borrowed a guitarist, too.” I waved toward Casey, who also cut class for a noble effort. “She owns every one of the Guitar Heroes.”

When Mr. Shimel called Hugh to come up to the front of the class and begin his presentation, I followed.

“It’s a duet,” I told the heavy-set teacher.

Hugh cleared his throat.

 

Ships are like prisons don’t you know

men kept with other men on decks below.

Melville knew this from his life at sea,

he found homosexuality.

Let me tell you about the Gomorrohs of the deep.

Let me tell you about the Gomorrohs of the deep.

Proof’s in Moby Dick, his most famous book.

Never were sailors so damn tight. Take a look.

 

Tracy Borland giggled, starting a slight infection that spread to the students around her. In response, I threaded my fingers between Hugh’s to hold his hand tight. Then I pressed against Hugh, as if spooning him (which would happen tonight) as I sang the next verse.

 

Think of that savage islander Queequeg.

In bed he harpooned Ishmael’s pant leg.

 

 

What about that chapter where they all squeeze

out lumps of whale gunk, isn’t that just a tease

 

Brian Coleman’s wide mouth stopped masticating a lump of pinkish gum.

Hugh smiled.

 

To boys like me, who search each book each day

for characters like me, proud to be gay.

 

Derek Fiesler grunted out “No way…” so it was only fair that I winked at him. His face flushed and he looked away.

 

Ships are like prisons don’t you know

men kept with other men on decks below.

Melville knew this from his life at sea,

he found homosexuality.

Let me tell you about the Gomorrohs of the deep.

Let me tell you about the Gomorrohs of the deep.

 

Melville wed, had a wife, that much is true.

But his real love was Hawthorne, a dude—

yes, that man who gave us The Scarlet Letter—

Melville’s heart ached to know much better.

 

Before you say foul at what we have found

step wise and meet us on some common ground.

You, like us, like Melville, want only bliss

and that’s why boys, when they want, should kiss.

In the moment of silence that followed, we kissed, right there, in front of the entire class. A kiss that lasted several moments as Casey geniused a guitar solo. I’d like to think we earned the B+ for that alone.

 

This story is © 2011 by Steve Berman (http://www.steveberman.com). This is a work of fiction, as are all characters portrayed in this story. Please do not copy without permission of the author.