Archive | June, 2011

My Insouciant Companion

24 Jun

Have you ever known a lesbian who considered herself a model citizen, a standing member of the community, a solid woman by all standards – good job, established home owner, nice car, a tidy savings – all the established prerequisites. And then you  come to find that she is, in fact, clearly out of her mind.

This is about a story of one such woman.

My Insouciant Companion


There was a group of lesbians in Albany, New York who, at the time, seemed to hang around with each other week after week. I used to call them the “Century 21 real estate agents.” Century 21 –   is not the big real estate agency it once was, and I suspect the group of lesbians who once hung around week after week aren’t hanging around with each other anymore either.

But at the time, and for about a good ten years after that, the Century 21 spent their time with themselves and no one else. I believed these women were all very well-to-do. At the party they all talked about their jobs – their good, well-established jobs – their homes, their manicured lawns (each had either a landscaper or took the time to garden), they were tanned – truly an anomaly in the northeastern climate – and they all had similar hairdos. I remember this distinctly about their hair: short, teased up high on the top, caramel-colored, with vanilla streaks of frost in a bang coming down just over their brows. If they had a gold blazer, like the Century 21 agents used to wear, they’d all be salespeople, and in my eyes they somehow were salespeople, albeit the unscrupulous type.

Invariably they were paired, the older butch with a younger femme – not by many years, maybe 10 years, but a defining difference in age nonetheless. The older woman, typically in her late 40’s, would sit next to her younger counterpart with adoring eyes, fawning over her like a chimp would fawn over her young preening its baby chimp with no regard for time.  And this is what I saw, as Linda picked at Deb – for what seemed like minutes on end, straightening Deb’s bra strap into its rightful place. That younger counterpart in this situation was my roommate, Deb.

One of the only reasons I went to this party in the first place was that Deb didn’t want to go alone because she didn’t know Linda too long and wanted me to tag along. It was a pity invite and I knew it, but I enjoyed the hors d’oeuvres and tequila. The party ran high into the evening and with the summer sky on a clean black slate, and the stars dancing on the  ceiling, I wasn’t feeling half bad.

There were five couples, and, in appearance, two other single women, and myself. The couples looked somewhat alike, same kind of body type (but that happens when women are together for some time – they sometimes start to dress alike, too; thank God Deb didn’t look like Linda).

Deb was a strawberry-blonde, mid-thirties, slim, not tall, insouciant – and yet was a self-made woman who had started her own photography business (and it was successful) only three years earlier. Deb did well financially. Linda did well financially too, in spite of a face like a brute and a mole the size of a dime near her right eye.  In fact while I was drunk but still cognizant, I realized everyone at the party had made more money than me – a lot more. I was definitely the poorest.

“Have another drink,” I heard. Her voice, coming my way, where it seemed to follow me right to where I stood while munching away on the cheese and crackers, was a tone of concern but then she scoffed, “like you need it,” and turned away and walked back to Deb out of my sight and out of range for me to reply. And I thought, “Linda, you stink, and my friend is too good for you.”

Deb bowed her head in knowing as she sat under a spotlight in a chaise lounge near the tiki torches that blew citronella smells around her, while Linda positioned Deb between her thighs in front like a bull rider about to be let out a gate.

I stood nearly twenty feet away but Deb could see me motion my head, craning my neck for her attention. Underneath I was saying, “Come here, I have something to tell you.”

I walked off to a quiet place inside the house – the kitchen! A few seconds later the door opened and in walked the biggest of the Century 21 agent hair, with the biggest of Century 21 smiles you could ever see.

“Hey!” she says, “What’s your name again, I saw you with Linda!”

I was leaning against the sink.

“Excuse me,” she says, “I need the sink.”

I moved left so fast I nearly banged my elbow against the refrigerator door. “Oh, sorry!” I said nervously, “I was just waiting for Deb!”

“Deb….Deb….”  she trails off, big Century 21 is washing a dish, a glass, she is hurrying, and then she says, “She’s with Linda, right?”

She talked fast, her blonde-frosted hair was so tight on her head it looked like flypaper. She was slouching over the sink, and I noticed she was very freckled-faced and when she turned to wipe her hands she smiled, and then I noticed a gape between her teeth.

I said, “Not sure she’s with Linda. But, yes… Deb’s my roommate…she invited me.”

“How do you do?!” She’s excited and stretches out her soapy wet hand, “ I’m Marcia. What’s your name?”

“I’m Terry.”

“Oh, right, right. So…”

Here the pregnant pause, here comes the question. I know this question, I always know this question, so when she asked,

“So… what do you do?” This is the qualifying question; this is the “How much do you make?” question, and all I’m thinking is,  “Where the fuck is Deb?”

And then:

“There you are! Are you drunk enough, buddy?!”

I could feel Deb’s hand slap me on the back and a deep rub of a quick massage across my shoulders lightens me up.

“Hey, Deb,” I said, “Your timing is excellent.”

“Are you having a good time?” Marcia said to Deb, her voice grew two octaves higher over the sight of Deb.

Deb’s charm claimed all souls, so when she told Marcia in response to her question, “This has to be, by far, the most perfect barbeque,” Marcia smiled wide and said,

“Alright, perfect. I’m going back outside…” her voice began to trail away, “if you need the guest bathroom it’s down the hall to the right.”

With Marcia out of sight and everyone out of earshot I said to Deb in a low urgent voice, “Let’s get out of here. Let’s go to Girl Bar.”

And then we both turned when we heard, “Now why would you want to leave a perfect party?”

To Be Continued

Copyright of Terry Rachel, 2011

Doctor, I Have a Bad Case of Indiscretion

17 Jun

There isn’t anything I will do that may compromise my self-respect.

Does this sound confusing? If you think so, and it’s not quite sitting right, that’s exactly my point.

Guarding one’s values is a constant battle as we struggle and search to define lines of what’s right and wrong.

There isn’t anything I will do that may compromise my self-respect. This simply means that I don’t care how popular the notion is, I am not doing it if it doesn’t feel right.

What else does it mean? It could mean that I’m dating you and I’m enjoying it, but I’m not disclosing that I’m dating someone else. Okay. So you find out through another person – “the grapevine” – the “rumor mill” – and then you also have the third person with the hard-line gossip, which is always defeating, that the person you thought was nice, is actually not so nice and somewhat dishonest.

When this occurs it says so much about the person who you thought was honest, and it says so much about the people who have become the beneficiary of your news (and they’re never sweet about it). They’re now connected to you in some creepy way.

The Lesbian Scene seems to be a circular path. It’s the push and pull, the in and out of relationships that leaves you feeling with the distrust. The distrust churns away in a whirling blender mixed with deceit and depravity, where suddenly “X” knows you’re broken up and they know, too, “X” is going with “Y”.

Why can’t women simply take a long breath and chill out, and maximize this time to heal the internal emotion? Instead they’re restless. They jump in and out of transient relationships, dating, bedding, with no thoughts of their self-worth because they did not take the time to be alone.

The Lesbian Scene is a transient lifestyle where women bend over backwards for reasons other than to lend you a hand. They think of nothing of betraying a friendship and suddenly, through that darn grapevine, here comes your confidence that you thought was a secret.  Ooops. How uncomfortable.

It is remarkable how quickly a week goes by in a lesbian’s life. There is no consistency – it would be sheer boredom for a lesbian to stay and be silent, you know, just chill. It’s torture. They must go. They’ll go anywhere. They go in and out a revolving door – and not just any door but preferably, a popular door. Their search never ends.

The lesbian will run if they encounter someone with too much baggage; they run from “drama”. They don’t like drama. But they are the first to start the drama and the ugly gossip with spite and aggression and find countless ways to perpetuate the very thing they boast to themselves and friends they try to avoid.

I wonder how these behaviors manifest themselves. Are they learned in childhood? Are they? I’m unsure about this one. Or maybe it’s that women who continue to get smacked down come out fighting? Maybe this leads to their drama.

But the Digital Age captures your personal life and it’s out there for the world to see. So its good practice to hone your skills on self-respect and the mastery of this is to have the foresight to be discreet.

Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath when they graduate which espouses this creed, Primum Non Nocere, which translates to “First, do no harm.”

Some lesbians need to go back to school.