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Growing Up Kinney



Part 1

We were about half-way through my graduation ceremony, and I was thinking maybe I was going to get out of it all without any permanent scarring because even though Iíd been boneheaded enough to fuck two fellow classmates within two weeks of each other, at least Iíd had the common sense to pick Jane Abbott and Chloe Wiseman. There were four hundred students between them, so the chance of them comparing notes and finding out was slim, at least for the next four hours, and I just needed to get out of there without any shit hitting the fan. Well, any of that particular shit anyway. My moms would, like, so not shut up about respect and feelings and all that shit if they had any idea, and my dad. Christ, you talk about fucking a girl in front of him, and he acts like Iím schtupping goats or something.

Okay, so screwing two cheerleaders on the same squad without the prerequisite two week break in between was a brainless move, but Iím working without much of a net here. I mean, Iíve gotta seek out, like, the postman or the local produce guy down at the grocery story if I expect to find any kind of how-to advice when it comes to dealing with women. Well, straight women anyway. Hereís something Iíve learned: straight chicks do not share in any way, shape or form the same ideas about fucking as, say, your average gay guy.

At this rate, Iím gonna be a hundred before I ever have a relationship with anyone.

Not that Iím looking for a relationship or anything. Please. Iím fucking 18 years old, and in three short months I am out of the hell hole that is Pittsburgh, bound for Columbia University thank you very much. Iím declaring pre-law, much to my mothersí delight (especially Maóshe loves the idea of her boy following in her footsteps). My dad on the other hand has done more than his fair share of pissing and moaning about it, even threatening for, like, five minutes not to pay my tuition if I was going to insist on such a boring, unimaginative career. His partner made so much fun of him over the whole thing that the subject was just kind of dropped.

Yeah, itís pretty obvious weíre not your typical Stepford family here. Itís almost easier to show people than to explain it all. I mean, the Peterson-Marcus-Kinney-Taylor-Novotny-Bruckner-Hunnicutt-Schmidt faction takes up a fucking wing of the auditorium. Not like you could miss us or anything. I mean, Jesus Christ, my grandmother painted a sign! A fucking sign for Godís sake! Just kill me already.

So hereís the short versionómy moms are Lindsay and Melanie Marcus. Theyíve been married, like, a hundred years. My dad is Brian Kinney. Yes, the Brian Kinney. His partner is Justin Taylor. Yes, the Justin Taylor and no I canít get you an autograph and no I donít know when the next book is coming out and no they donít film the movies here in Pittsburgh and yes Iíve met Colin Farrell and heís really short and my dad is forever pissed that he plays him in the films, even though Justin insists Andrew Kent isnít even remotely based on my father. Can we move on? So, my sister Sarahís dad is Michael Novotny who grew up with my dad so theyíre kind of like brothers I guess, and Michaelís partner is Ben Bruckner and then everyone else is just everyone else and so thatís my family in a nutshell.

Sarah and I have contests to see who can use the most degrees of separation to describe one of our motley crew of family members. Like, Sarah can say Jennifer Taylor is her brotherís fatherís loverís mother.

Okay, thatís actually not very funny given the way prim and proper Jennifer so literally observes the boundries of ďfamily.Ē Because Justin and my dad are together, she recognizes me as her quasi-grandkid. But Sarah has no ďofficialĒ tie to her, so sheís treated like one of my school friends instead of my sister. Itís embarrassing and irritating, and I hate it. Sarah acts like she doesnít notice, but give me a fucking break. I mean, when I turned 16, Jen gave me $5,000 toward a new car that my dad had already promised me anyway. Sarah got a gift certificate to Nordstroms.

Of course, on the total other end of the spectrum, you have my grandma Deb. Deb would kick my ass if I ever referred to her as my sisterís fatherís mother. Deb is Gran to me in exactly the same overbearing, totally horrifying way sheís Gran to Sarah. I canít believe Sarah let her hold up that fucking doofus sign. Like I wonít remember it two years from now when sheís sitting up there? Jesus.

Anyway, it all mixes together for us in a way that seems pretty normal, even though it leaves most people confused about whoís who and stuff. I kind of like messing with people about it. Like last fall when I was touring colleges, I asked Ben to come with me on a couple of visits, figuring that on the off-chance that coming in as the offspring of Brian Kinney wasnít enough, certainly walking around with the dean of Carnegie Mellonís English department would be. Well that and touring with my moms was a total pain in the ass because Mom would get all, like weepy about my leaving home, and all Ma wanted was for me to go to Columbia so she bitched about everything on all the other campuses. And going with my dad was out of the question because it always caused too much of a stir. The university fuckers would be so obsequious about it and that always puts my dad in a pissy mood (unless, of course, they *donít* fawn all over him, which puts him in an even pissier mood). Look, I donít give a shit if being Brian Kinneyís son gets me somewhere, I use it all the time to get shit, Iím the first to admit it, but itís penny ante shit, you know? Like the best seats in the house on that rare occasion when a decent band comes to town, that kind of stuff. And okay, Iíll admit that if I hadnít gotten into Columbia, I woulda sicíd my dad on them in a heartbeat, but thatís not the point Iím making.

What the fuck point am I making anyway? Oh yeah, messing with people.

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