Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Love Lesbians




All of my life, for whatever reason, I have attracted lesbians. Men too, but often I didn’t notice or care. Until I did. But I am not writing that story.  So, as early as 20, my first lesbian, Patty, entered my life at our workplace, a company I started with just after college graduation.  I had no clue about her sexual preference and never thought about it, but I adored her and we became great friends and in fact, still are.  She had a “roommate” and I assumed that is exactly what she was, despite the fact that in their house, the roommate's bedroom never looked slept in. I just thought she was super tidy.

Patty, her roommate Clare and I hung out, musketeer style. Shopping, parties, beach outings, road trips. They were so fun. We acted like kids really, often playing dress up at their house, board games, water gun fights.  Looking back of course there were tons of clues but I didn’t notice, and didn’t care. For example, they would come to one of my dinner parties, usually with an entourage of 8 gay men. So they liked gay guys. Is that a crime? Then Patty said one of them was her boyfriend, the gayest of the 8. By that I mean, beyond the tight jeans, cute butt, perfect hair, a thick lisp, everybody was his “darling” and his name was Nancy. But again, this is L.A.


As time goes on, Patty becomes more and more butch. She starts building cars, flipping houses, playing football, and making tons of money in a male dominated industry. All of her houses are gorgeous and she was the contractor, tool belt, work boots and all.

One night out at some Hollywood type event, she was throwing back apple martinis. I don’t drink so when you see someone drunk, and you are sober, it’s kind of like watching this person in Technicolor. Their every move is exaggerated, distorted and if the right person, funny. She was all three.
We were lounging on one of those beds that are popular in upscale hotel patios that surround a sparkling pool, out of work actors and boob jobs.
“How was Miami?”
Patty travels a lot and has homes everywhere, including Miami where she had just returned.
“Fantastic,” she squeals.  Patty has an incredibly infectious lust for life. She is always happy and bursting with love. Honestly, her heart is so big you want to climb right into it, her enthusiasm so great, I offered wondered if she was an alien just visiting this filthy planet. How do people get that way?  She is constantly squeezing friends and planting kisses on them. I have never met anyone like her, to this day.
“Oh, have you ever had your own private strip tease?” Her eyes widened, her smile reflected off the pool. She grabbed me by the shoulders, her face continuing to light up. “It was so awesome!”
“Uh, no, I don’t recall having one.”
“I had this woman come to my house. She had long blond, silky hair, tall, just gorgeous. Kind of like you.”
“Yeah, right. Thanks Patty, but, okay.” 

I did not in any way see myself this way. I saw myself as a blobby sea creature, my blond hair stretched across the ocean floor capturing smaller prey in an attempt to fill in my empty spaces.
“So she does this slow strip, and I am staring at her. Can’t take my eyes off of her, the ways she moves and glides. ” She sighs.  “Is there anything more beautiful than a woman’s body?”





“They are pretty.”

Now, here you might think I would be tipped off. But I still thought nothing of it. So, she had a girl over and watched her take her clothes off. I once felt a girl’s boobs in the 4th grade out of curiosity.

When Patty dropped me off, she walked me to the door to be sure I would be safe, the five feet from my driveway to my house.  Then she grabbed me and stuck her tongue down my throat. This was a step further than the squeeze and the usual planted kiss on the cheek.

“Patty, are you okay?”
“Oh, sorry, I have just always been mad for you. Mad! Crazy in love.”
“Really? That is so sweet.”
“Anyway, tonight was fun.” Then she squeezed me again and left.
It wouldn’t be for a few more years, and after countless people telling me she is gay, that the dime would drop.

One friend told me she walked like a truck driver. Another said she practically sleeps at the Home Depot.  And another said no straight girls have roommates for fourteen years.

“It’s a practical way to save money,” I would say, waving off the comment.
“Rhonda, she is rich. Hello!”

One night a few years later, when we were both single, (her roommate finally moved out) we were flopped on my bed, reading the L.A. weekly looking at the personal ads. I had never done that before and planned to not follow through, but I did notice Patty was reading “women looking for women.”  Again, nothing. I thought she was curious. In fact, I look at a few myself.  “Look, this one drives a Porsche, has a beach house and a condo in Palm Beach!”  “Wow, maybe I should call her.” And we would giggle.

But you see, I love Patty and perhaps I did know she was gay but it just never seemed to matter.  She actually did call the Porsche lady from the L.A. Weekly ad, met her a few days later, fell in love and in two weeks they were living together.  This is when she came out to me, and it was a huge deal for her and she cried. We sat on my porch after she called me saying she had something incredibly catastrophic she wanted to share.

“I should have told you 15 years ago,” she sobbed.
I hugged her.
“I don’t care Patty.”

So, over the years, I have had many lesbian friends, but now I know they are lesbians. I just happen to like them. Oddly so does my husband, he has scores of lesbian friends. And come to think of it, so does my son. You could say we are a lesbian loving family.

Recently, this woman Rebekka entered my life. I did not think she was gay, because she puts a lot of energy into appearing straight.  She is incredibly feminine, overly flirtatious with men and in fact talks about men all the time. I suppose that should have tipped me off. But this mental block once again emerged. 

I met her through friends and we were in the same writing group. I would find her staring at me all the time, and constantly complimenting my work. Then she started to call me, text me, send me silly pictures of cats, videos of playful puppies. She found me on Facebook filling my wall with hearts and flowers and I love you notes. We went to art gallery openings, parties, she told me her life story; and then we moved on to hiking, she wanted to know everything about me. Digging around for information on all my relationships with men, marriages, she herself never had a relationship with a man, though over 40, but liked to constantly repeat that she had an affair with a famous actor, a married actor. I don’t really know if it’s true but it meant a lot to her. 

“I want to find someone like him for my life partner.”

Now I am thinking she is nuts. The actor in question is a slut, cheats on his wife and if it were true, had sex with Rebekka a couple times then never called her again. So, where was the appeal? Of course, the magical thinking that such a man could exist, and sweep her off her lesbian feet. 

“If I can’t find someone like him, then I will just be alone. And we can keep hanging out. It’s so great to have friend as honest and open as me.”

She was starting to exhaust me. You’re fucking gay, for god sakes. Just cop to it. The difference between Patty and Rebekka is that Patty was and is a genuine person. She lived a gay lifestyle but kept it to herself because she was in fear that it may affect her job if they found out and also was in fear of losing her friends.  Rebekka was just a phony. Everything about her was contrived, from her environmentally friendly car, to her Lautner designer house, to the furniture she ripped out of a magazine, her macrobiotic eating habits, yoga classes…. There was no actual person there. Hence why she wanted my brain.

Which leads me back to “the hikes.” She started asking me tons of questions on how to write.  

“How do I achieve this combination of character, pathos, comedy? Where do you draw your inspiration? How do you combine time movement, form, style and maintain wit?”  She was giving me far too much credit and clearly saw in me whatever it was she lacked in herself. Another fantasy, it was again, exhausting. Her own writing was one dimensional and always scatological.  She thought this was funny. But often when she would read a piece in front of the class about a penis with a herpes sore on it, there would be a silence, quickly followed by the teacher trying to find some merit in her work. Rebekka managed to mention the word penis in every piece, even one where she is abandoned by her mother. It was meant to be heartfelt, sad, moving, but instead it was about a penis. “As Mama left me, standing alone at the door, I couldn’t help but think about the size of my Math teacher’s engorged penis, which seemed to form a volcanic bulge in his pants.”




 Also during the hikes, she would accidentally swerve into me, and eventually just linked onto my arm for the duration of the hike, still asking questions. She was a vampire, sucking all of my knowledge, my time, and my energy.

My husband told me she was in love with me. I laughed it off, thought that was ridiculous. But then she slipped up and told me she was going to Maine to get away from me. I was consuming her every thought. 

“Huh?”
“I just have to erase you like in that movie, but I will text you constantly!”
The first three days she was in Main, I did in fact receive hourly texts. “I’m getting my hair blown out! I’m getting an incredible pedicure from an Asian woman for 8 dollars!”  “I’m buying a new bra! Finally.”  Then they stopped.

On her return three weeks later, I was at her house for another brain suck session. During these sessions, she liked to touch my skin, my arm to be precise. She confessed some secrets about her wanting a family; but the clock done tocked.  Did she think I was going to leave my family for her and she and I would raise my kids? At this point now I am finding it strange.  Even creepy. I decided to not go over there anymore. And no more hikes.

This is precisely when a middle-aged women carrying a huge suitcase entered through Rebekka's front door. She was unremarkable in every way. Unkempt hair streaked with gray, blue jean overalls, Birkenstocks  bound to her un-pedicured feet, and a loose tunic almost covering some ink that crept down her arm like a snake. I think it was a snake.  The woman said hello and walked away. She couldn’t be more opposite than Rebekka, who prided herself on her perfect skin, her perfect haircut and wearing outfits to accentuate her perfectly thin frame from incessant work outs and Bikram yoga.



“Who is that?”
“Oh, my new roommate. I have all this space and I live alone and could use the income since my writing career really isn’t bringing in that much. I met her in Maine. She’s nice.”
“I thought you made a lot of money on the residuals from that game show you were on?”
The girl came out and gave me a look over then left. Weird.

Rebekka stopped calling after that day, no more funny texts, pictures, calls. I was okay with it, but I wanted to see if I had done something wrong, or she was just breaking up with me. So I called her.
“Hey, just wondered where you’ve been? You seem to have disappeared?”
“Oh, well, I’ve just been busy and I think we needed a break. I’m going in another direction with my life, a new path.”
“What does that mean? I didn’t know we were on any kind of path.”
“Your tone is aggressive and I am moving more into light. I’m meditating now and finding my center and I don’t see how we can remain friends.”
“What? I took you to the meditation class!”
“I am going to hang up.”

Then she did, and of course, deleted and blocked me from Facebook.
So, I guess the moral of this story is I do indeed love lesbians, but I don’t like liars or phonies.  Rebekka knew this about me and also knew I am rather out spoken, and she wants to remain in the closet, so best to get rid of me all together. I understand.  She needs to be straight until she locks up that big TV fantasy deal or whatever it is she is seeking. Or maybe it’s as simple as she fell in love with Birkenstock roommate who didn’t approve of our friendship.