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Call Me Naive, But

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“Call me naive, but I think I’d make a halfway decent governor of the fine state of New York,” Dan said.

Across the lunch table from him, both Dana and Natalie put down their utensils and looked at each other, then at him, in eerie unison.

“You know, you did that in eerie unison,” he told them.

“What does Casey think about this?” Dana asked.

“I don’t tell Casey everything I’m thinking the second I’m thinking it,” Dan said. Natalie raised an eyebrow at him. “I mean, every time.”

“Why governor?” Dana asked. “It’s a pretty big step from phone-banking and door-knocking to running for statewide office, don’t you think?”

“I think I’m far from the worst former television personality that could run for a high-profile political office,” Dan said.

“Leaving Sports Night,” Natalie said.

“Leaving Sports Night what?” Dan and Dana asked together.

“You didn’t tell Casey when you wanted to leave Sports Night. You asked the rest of us first. Remember, he found out by accident--”

“--because your voice carries in stairwells--” Dana put in.

“--and you had that giant fight that--”

“Yes, I remember that fight, Natalie, thank you,” Dan said.

“I’m just saying, that’s the kind of thing you don’t tell Casey about as soon as you think of it.” Natalie sat back in her chair and triumphantly stabbed a piece of broccoli.

“I’m just trying it on for size. Floating a trial balloon, if you will.”

“Well,” Dana said, “to answer your original comment, I don’t think you’re naive.”

“Thank you.”

“But I think you should ask Case what he thinks you are.”

“I’ll get to it,” Dan said.

“Call me naive, but I think I’d make a halfway decent governor of the fine state of New York,” Dan said.

Isaac choked on his Scotch. Dan came half out of his chair; Isaac waved him back down, though he coughed a few more times.

“Is everything all right?” Esther called from the hall.

“Danny’s just trying to kill me with his humor!” Isaac called back. “No, Daniel,” he said at normal volume, “stop making that offended face.”

“I’m not offended,” said Dan, offendedly.

“Clearly you’re not.” Isaac regarded Dan slowly. He did everything slowly these days, but Dan found his usual impatience leaving him at the door when he stepped inside Isaac’s house. Isaac would get there when he got there, and would be worth the getting. “Why do you want to be a half-decent governor, Daniel?”

“Well, when you put it that way…”

“That’s how you put it.”

“I just think.” Dan looked up, then leaned forward and looked hard at Isaac. “Don’t you think I could help be a voice for some of the marginalized people in this state?”

Isaac started laughing again.

Dan waited.

“Danny,” Isaac said once he’d wound down, “you are aware that you’re still the poster boy for privilege, right?”

“You mean, am I aware that I’m a cisgender white man with a public image I can take advantage of and a truckload of cash? Yes.”

“Good,” Isaac said.

“But it’s not the smallest thing to be either Jewish or in a same-sex marriage right here, right now. Especially when--” Dan cut himself off. “Never mind.”

Isaac just looked at him.

“My point is this: if the best way to help is to use my voice, my platform, my privilege to promote someone else, I absolutely would. But if it’s something more direct...then I trust you to tell me what you think, Isaac.”

Isaac sighed. “I think you should talk to Casey, is what I think.”

“Maybe I have!” Dan said.

“If you had, he’d be sitting there next to you,” Isaac said.

Dan sighed.

“Call me naive, but--”

“You’re naive.”



Dan turned over in bed and stared at the long line of Casey’s back. “I wasn’t hiding it from you.”

“And yet I heard it from Jeremy first and not you.”

“Well, that’s partly because Jeremy has no filter, partly because Natalie either doesn’t remember or doesn’t care that Jeremy has no filter, and mostly because I wanted to kick the tires on the trial balloon I’d sent up before I ran it by you.”

“Kick the tires on the--” Casey turned over and sat up. “Danny, do you really think balloons have tires?”

“No, but it got you looking at me, didn’t it?” Dan sat up and took Casey’s face in his hands. “Case, I’m not trying to go around you. I just didn’t want to bring you something life-changing until I’d said it out loud a few times.”

“We’re already in the middle of something life-changing,” Casey said, pointing to the latest book on adoption sitting on his nightstand.

“I don’t mean to be selfish,” Dan said, “I just - It’s what got me thinking about this in the first place.”

“I don’t follow,” Casey said. “Float me a balloon, Dan.”

“I can’t stop thinking about this kid, whoever they are. Is their medical care okay? When they take the subway does it get stuck? Do they get bullied at school? And then I thought about the people with the power to really do something, and then I got--”



Casey laughed. “You know, don’t let it go to your head, but you’re sexy when you’re being a control freak.”

“Don’t call me a control freak.”

“Dan said, controllingly.”

This led to a wrestling match and some lazy making out, much to Dan’s delight.

“So,” Casey said a little while later. “Are you going to do it?”

“Do what?”

“Attempt to become - how did Jeremy put it? - ‘a fine governor of the halfway decent state of New York’?”

“He probably did, too,” Dan said between bouts of laughter. “No, I don’t think so. I think I’ll find someone else to help promote and focus on our own personal life-changing event.”

“Ah, so you’ve kicked the tires on this trial balloon and decided against it?”

“Casey, trial balloons don’t have tires.”

“My bad.”