The thing about manga that appealed most to Grant was that it didn’t exist only for kids. Despite the detractors who called the books “comic books” and sneered at the adults who read them.
If those detractors had any idea what was contained within the covers of the manga books Grant chose, they would know the books weren’t just comics. Comic books didn’t contain full frontal nudity and scenes of sexual encounters. The Japanese had the right idea, as far as Grant was concerned. Tame manga for kids, explicit for adults.
He would never dream of showing anyone the books he read. Aside from the full frontal nudity and blatant sex, there was the tiny fact that he was a fan of yaoi. Beautiful men fucking other beautiful men. There was no way in hell he wanted Joe Public on the Boston T train or bus seeing that kind of thing. He’d heard about too many gay bashings as it was, and he had no desire to be a victim of one. Sometimes he thought it might be[A1] nice to be able to read during his commute home from downtown Boston, but he didn’t quite dare to take out one of his yaoi books where everyone might see.
So the night he bought Flower Glove, he waited until he got home to start reading. He’d bought the book at the chain bookstore in Downtown Crossing on his walk from the HMO where he worked to the subway. The title was completely weird, which he’d come to expect from manga, but the picture on the front cover had caught his eye in the bookstore. The picture showed a brown-haired man embracing a blond one. The blond was a bishonen, a manga “pretty boy” whose face was as beautiful as that of any female model.
He was clearly male, though, and Grant had barely been able to take his eyes off the picture long enough to pay for the book and let the cashier put it in a paper bag for him.
When he finally walked into the tiny studio apartment he rented above an elderly couple’s garage in Revere, he took the book out of the bag before he even closed the door. The last bit of October sunlight filtered through the window, and it glinted off the book’s cover, making the bishonen’s hair glow.
“Right.” Grant barely realized he was talking out loud to himself. With no one else in the apartment, he did that frequently. “Of course his hair’s glowing. This is a magical book, and if I wish really, really hard, he’ll come to life and suck my dick.”
He wouldn’t have turned the guy down if that had happened. Which, of course, it wouldn’t, since it was completely impossible.