Sunday, November 3, 2013

The inside joke

In a week of increasing darkness (both literally and figuratively), it's been a pleasure to find one of those books that reminds me why I love reading and why I love reading YA.

That book is David Levithan's Two Boys Kissing. I could talk about the way Levithan calls to life the voices of the generation of gay men who were lost  to AIDS, or how he manages to develop two characters who spend the entire book in a record-breaking kiss (which becomes, after several hours, a test of endurance, since the terms of the record require constant standing, no bathroom breaks, and little to no nourishment), or how he weaves in the stories of several other characters. But I want to share just one little excerpt:

"'Pancakes,' [Neil] says. 'I think we need pancakes.'
This time, Peter knows what's coming, and joins in. They both start jumping up and down on one leg, yelling, 'I-hop! I-hop!'
We are such wonderful idiots, Peter thinks."

To me, that scene captures so beautifully one of the best parts of a longtime relationship: the inside joke. The way we become wonderful idiots for each other; the silly things we do that nobody else would understand. The point of the inside joke is not only to make the other person laugh. It's to acknowledge a shared history and reaffirm a shared present. It's a way of saying, I am so happy with you; I am so happy with us.

source of recommended read: bought

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