My Insouciant Companion Part II

2 Jul

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

Part II

At last sight Linda was in the chaise lounge, but she must have been tucked inside the house long enough to overhear my conversation with Deb. She stood between the hallway entrance, slighted right, standing askew on one foot, with one hand on the wall.

“You look like you’re holding up the wall,” I told her.

Deb suppressed a laugh as we watched Linda fix a menacing gaze at me. She took in big gulps of air, it almost seemed like she was trying to catch her breath, but then she winced, knitting her eyebrows against us, and then a smirk came over her. Then she shifted her feet in a stance that reminded me of the courtyard bullies I used to know when I was growing up; I could always tell when someone was readying themselves for a fight. “I’m not holding up the wall…” and then to Deb she said,

“How long have you two known each other? You seem like you’re old friends.” And of course we were, and because we were, we didn’t  jump to answer her question thinking there was more to it.  “A lot of lesbians remain friends with their lovers,” she continued, “I don’t understand how. They always seem to be in the way of any future relationship.” And then she paused and asked what she wanted to know in the first place.  “Are you two ex-lovers, or are you lovers now?”

Deb laughed the hearty laugh we needed and then threw me off guard when she honked my left breast, “Owa! You sonabitch!” I said, retaliating with a push to Deb’s left shoulder, knocking her off balance  just so I could grab hold of her ponytail. She belted out, “Don’t fuck with my hair, pecker! Let go of the ponytail, peckerhead!”

While I was recovering from my sore breast, Deb laughed, “See,” she said to Linda, “we love each other, but we’re only friends. “ And with that Deb tried grabbing hold of my other breast but I jumped back, giving her a look that told her, “Better not!”

“Why the question,” I said to Linda? “Do we look like lovers?”

“We don’t act it!” and giving me a wink, Deb said, “I wouldn’t go out with you anyway even though you are pretty cute.”

I laughed, “What makes you think I’d go out with you? You sleep too long, you snore, and you party way too much for me.”

“Yeah, but you love me and you know it, and besides, you want to secretly go to bed with me.”

I choked back a sip of wine, “Oh, yeah, baby, turn over right now. Against the sink!”

We realized we had both ignored Linda with our always present, quick and rapid-fire verbal slings that Deb and I enjoyed and often engaged in. So I said, half-heartedly to Linda, “Why do you want to know if we’re lovers?”  I waited for her to answer but instead  she rolled her plump body into a kitchen bar stool and began doing half-circles while simultaneously staring at the ceiling fan.  This went on for several seconds and I just looked at Deb. I  silently mouthed words in the air, “What the fuck is she doing?” Deb shrugged.

“So you girls are going out, huh?”

Linda had the kind of voice that was neither remarkable nor distinct, there were no highs, no lows, it was just a voice that sounded as if it had never sighed. I couldn’t imagine she ever said  “Wow!” in pure excitement like happy people do, or spoke with sincerity or concern to ask, “Are you okay?” like when a friend really wants to get to the truth. There was none of it in her voice.  To me Linda might as well have been a lamp in the corner, an indistinct and unremarkable object that was just there.

I couldn’t believe what Deb had told me in the car ride over.  “Wow!” I said to Deb in hopes of liking Linda for Deb’s sake, “That’s quite a big responsibility, quite a job, fat salary, a leadership position, for sure!” I  stared at Linda still sitting in the bar stool, still doing half-circles, and I couldn’t believe she was head of the Albany Teacher’s Union.  With as much good-nature as I could muster for a woman who I wasn’t warming up to, and sensing she didn’t like my shenanigans with Deb, I said to Linda, “I’m trying to get out of here, Linda, but I need a lift because I came with this one!” and tapped Deb’s shoulder.

Deb, leaning  against the stove, wide-eyed and smiling, blew one final puff from her cigarette into the kitchen fan, “Linda, I’m going to drop off Terry at Girl Bar, she’s begging me to go.”

“But you came to the party with me, Debra,” said Linda.

Deb, always careful of her appearance and, in particular, her long strawberry-blonde hair that was thick and rich with curl, tucked away any loose hairs, by swimming a hand over the sides and top, “Linda, I met you here, silly, I came with Terry! I’m going to drive her to the bar and then I’ll be back.”

“Please don’t call me, ‘silly.’”

“What?!” Deb was incredulous, “Linda, please, it’s just an expression!”

“I don’t care, I don’t like it. I don’t know you long enough to use expressions like that with me.”

Just then a petite blonde woman stumbled through the kitchen, “Excuse me, excuse me, make way.” She carried a tray of wine glasses and was just about near the kitchen counter when one glass toppled off hitting the tile floor, shattering into fragments.

“Oh, oh, oh!” She screamed, “Oh! I’m so sorry!”

Both Deb and I went to the floor picking up as much glass as we could, but the petite blonde wore sandals and Deb said to her, shooing her back, “We just need a dust pan. Give me a wet paper towel, too. Move back. The last thing I want is for you to cut your foot,” she said to the sandaled blonde, “I don’t do good with blood.”

To Be Continued

© Terry Rachel, 2011

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