The New Jersey Girl Clique

23 Jul

The New Jersey Girl Clique

IN the summer of 2010, Libra Chilton attends a party in Eatontown, New Jersey by a woman named Dinn, a cherub-faced woman with a quick smile and bright eyes, she’s new to the gay scene – a late bloomer, with children now grown and a marriage coming to an end, it’s Dinn’s time to celebrate as a woman with a new-found freedom, she’s looking to have some fun, dating here and there, and now a party – a party to validate her coming out.  Like Dinn, Libra Chilton, has returned to school to follow her undergrad degree – “better late than never” she would say, having postponed her education to raise a family, she too, has a new-found freedom, and when the open invitation on a local community board for Dinn’s party hits Libra’s email, she decides to go. And even though she goes by herself, she is affable and more than willing to meet everyone in attendance.

At the party, Dinn greets her guests with a warm smile, making her guests feel comfortable.  Libra speaks to a few women she’s never met before and they exchange numbers and Facebook handles. A couple of other women Libra recognizes and joins their table to make small talk.  But Libra really doesn’t speak more than a few sentences to Dinn or anyone else in Dinn’s group, because Dinn has centered on her circle, her safety zone, and Libra’s not part of that circle.

In Dinn’s circle there’s  one big dragon head of a young woman by the name of Flavia  Mannia, brutish and awkward in motion, she’s not quite thirty-five, and she tends to drape herself around the necks of women much older than herself – a real “mommy problem” that one, she spies you with a jealous glean.  Dinn defers to her often – and later this will be to Dinn’s detriment, but for now Dinn doesn’t know how dangerous Flavia is.  Flavia is subtle, smiling to your face; she’ll cut you broadside when you turn.  An endless well of cruel and unfounded gossip, speaking as if she knows all one could possibly know about your background and character, basing her lies on untruths and on things she’s not privy to, she will perpetuate her stories, snowballing them recklessly so that everyone in her group will be castrated if they don’t agree with her opinion of the person she’s victimizing, so everyone else bases their opinion on the opinion of what Flavia deems as truth.  Flavia, with the gap between her teeth and her broad shoulders rubbing against Dinn, overpowering Dinn like a standing bull, she’s aloof to everyone including Libra.

Also in this circle is Chastain, a puppet on a string who plays second-banana for Flavia. If Chastain had any sense she would realize that Flavia’s presence is boorish and tiring.  They look idiotic standing there together, as Flavia goes “Whooop, whoop!” her hands ringing a circle in the air, and then a fist pump –  she’s just on when “her song” comes on, while Chastain follows her like a bad dress.  Onto Mary. Mary, oh, Mary, with the elephant ears and the nose the size of a coffee cup, another wet noodle embracing the opinion of Flavia, the brute. Mary doesn’t go outside the group either, as she cries at one point in the night, sobbing, looking ridiculous, clamoring over a woman who use to be her lover. The ex-lover tries to settle her down, “Stop, get a grip, we’re at a party,” she says, but Mary cries on. Flavia rolls her eyes, unsympathetic, because she’s gotta’ dance, gotta’ groove, she’s on.

As Flavia begs for attention, Chastain follows, and Mary cries, and Dinn smiles, in comes Tracy – always late, bouncy, racy, Tracy. Tracy knows everything – she’s about as reliable as a paper plate, and Flavia is her cheerleader. Tracy says “Oprah!” and Flavia says “Oprah!”  When Tracy says “Dr. Phil!” Flavia says “Dr. Phil!” and then behind them comes Dinn, Mary and Chastain licking their behinds. They all look alike – shaped like thumbs on stubby fingers, they think alike, too and they laugh at the same things.

Poor Dinn, always ruled by a husband who protected her and told her how to do things, will go everywhere  with these four other women, never giving anyone else a chance. At the party she doesn’t say goodbye to Libra.

“This is the clique,”  Libra says, when she sees the dynamics, and shakes her head in disillusionment.

Libra walks into the kitchen – there’s plenty of food, food that’s been untouched, but she only nibbles at the cheese and crackers on the counter. She opens the cooler and see that the bottle of wine she brought sits in the same position she placed it in two hours before. She takes one last look around and smiles at a couple making out on the living room couch. On the ride home she takes a detour, stopping at McDonald’s to pick up a chocolate parfait. While eating it she realizes she must have missed when the dessert was served.

© of Terry Rachel, 2011

One Response to “The New Jersey Girl Clique”

  1. deb July 24, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Wow, this is really good and I can really relate to a lot of these characters.. Can’t wait for the next installment.

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