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Archive for the ‘lesbian’ Category

Man, Lesbians!

Bridget took us out to celebrate Lillie’s seventh birthday. We were a little belated in this, as the big day was last month. But Lillie didn’t mind. It just meant her birthday wasn’t over yet.

Per our custom, Lillie got to choose the restaurant. She opted for Patsy’s, where the pizzas are covered in fresh basil and cooked in wood-burning ovens. She can also order–if not readily pronounce—what she considers her “favorite pasta I ever ate in my whole life,” paparadella alla tuscana.

As we passed through a sidewalk art fair, Collie laughed at a painting of Yoda as the Mona Lisa, entitled Yoda Lisa. Bridget loved it too, and bought a magnet with a reproduction of the painting to give to Collie.

We also went bowling at Bowlmor, which, I realized, was exactly what we did for Lillie’s sixth birthday. The thing I most remember about that afternoon is my ex wife debating my exact height. My doctor and I agree with the height given on my driver’s license. Lucy is certain I am one inch shorter.

I am certain it’s a pointless thing to debate. Bring the measuring tape or drop it.

Bowling is among our favorite family outings. You can make as much noise as you like, you get to knock things over, and the grown-ups can drink.

At Bowlmor, you get the added attraction of waitresses in short skirts and fishnets. They call it “retro,” I call it “hotcha.” Puts a little extra wood in the pin, ifyuhknowwhutuhmean.

We always play with bumpers on the lanes, which, I have to admit, has tremendously improved my score. The kids will have to make adjustments as they mature as bowlers. For now, they use the bumpers like flippers in pinball.

Collie broke one hundred. Lillie achieved her two best scores, and even beat her brother Jason in one set. He was not in top form, as he was still hung over from a sleepover that apparently included very little sleep.

Afterward, we had s’mores at Cosi and made an excursion to Forbidden Planet, where I most certainly did not flirt with the ethereal blonde waif who checked my bags. We were just talking, that’s all.

Bridget would have teased me had she noticed, but you put that geek in a comic store and her blinkers go up. I could’ve balled the girl on the counter without Bridget looking up from the new releases.

Instead, I let the girl ponder her awakening interest in FILFs and busied myself with reading American Virgin.

Loaded with comics and action figures—it’s fun for me to watch Bridget struggle with the word “no” when the children ask for things, as it morphs faster than a speeding bullet into “maybe,” then “just one,” before settling into “yes, okay, get both”—the kids were worn out and ready to head home. Bridget went to retrieve her car from a garage. Wanting the children away from the garage entrance, I shepherded them down the sidewalk.

It was a lovely summer afternoon, and the sidewalks were full of Villagers, New York University students and protesters gearing up for the arrival of President Bush, in town to commemorate the anniversary of nine eleven.

I was watching people go by when I realized that the kids had found their own show.

Two young women braced against a corner, their bodies entwined and their tongues deep in one another’s throats.

Now, this presented a sticky wicket.

I hadn’t intended for the kids to see a live sex show, but here it was, and those girls were working for tips. The hands of the woman with the short cropped hair and tattoos were devouring the tanned skin of the long-haired brunette.

They were really going to town, and much too far gone on their way to notice three gawking children.

Lillie looked at me and giggled. Jason shrugged and rolled his eyes.

Collie stared straight at the women.

I didn’t want to make too big a deal of this by ushering the children away. But I did wish Bridget would hurry up with the car.

In the fullness of time, she drove up. The kids climbed into the car and began to buckle up.

“Bridget, there are two lesbians over there, if you want to see them,” Collie said, snapping his seatbelt into place.

“Wha . . . well, Collie!” Bridget sputtered, her ears not attuned to the sound of the word “lesbian” in the voice of a ten-year-old boy.

“Your gaydar is fully operational, I see,” I said to my son.

“It’s obvious, Dad,” he replied. “I mean, they were kissing.” He looked back to the women as we drove by. “Man, lesbians!”

I’m sure Bridget was glad to get past the public display of Sapphic affections. As she drove out of the Village, she put the lesbians out of mind and focused on traffic.

We passed a billboard showing a man wearing no shirt.

“Look, Dad,” Lillie pointed. “He’s got a six pack.”

Bridget guffawed. “Who are you people?” she laughed.

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That night, after my talk with the teenagers, the sex dreams took a turn for the incestuous.

Following our afternoon on the boat, Lynn’s boyfriend had broken up with her via telephone. Lynn made a tearful call to break this news to her mother, my brother Jesse’s ex wife Teri.

This got me to thinking about Teri. I realized I had not seen in her in a couple of years.

My subconscious took hold of that realization. I would see Teri that very night.

In appearance, Lynn and her brother are perfect amalgams of their parents’ combined traits. Both parents are attractive, blonde, blue-eyed, with glowing smiles.

Their children share that description, but for one additional factor. In marrying Teri, Jesse had added several inches to the gene pool. She is around six feet tall, as are the kids. My brother Jesse, at five foot seven or so, is dwarfed by his ex and their children—an amusing detail in any family photograph.

My brother and his wife broke up a decade ago when she decided that she was a lesbian.

This came as a great surprise. At the time, Jesse and Teri had two young children and a new house.

My brother was distraught. Are you sure? he asked. Can’t we work something out? Maybe you can be a lesbian without divorcing me? Shouldn’t we stay together for the kids?

What else could he say? Divorce and homosexuality are equally alien in our family. All we know is that families stay together, no matter what.

It wasn’t possible, Teri said. She was already in love with someone else—a woman.

My parents were equally distraught. I might even venture that my mother’s distress surpassed even that of her son Jesse, arguably the person more affected by Teri’s decision.

To their great credit, though, my parents made it clear to Teri that that they loved her no matter what. Divorce or no divorce, she was still their daughter. She was still family.

(This by contrast to Teri’s own parents, self-styled sophisticates who told Teri to clear out her childhood bedroom in their home, as they no longer had a daughter.)

Mom called me with the news. I was stunned and felt terrible for Jesse and the kids, not to mention my mother, who could barely talk about it without crying. I hated what this was doing to my family.

But, I said, if this is what Teri wants, then that is the way it is.

How can you say that? my mother asked. They have children! What about their responsibilities to them?

I know, I replied, but what is the alternative? If she’s gay, she’s gay. She can’t stay married and pretend otherwise. I’m sure they will continue to meet their obligations in a new family arrangement.

Besides, I went on to say, it was very brave of Teri to come forward with this revelation. Coming out is very difficult, particularly given her family’s reaction. I felt compelled to support that. In fact, I was happy for her.

Mom hung up on me. Perhaps I had gone too far.

Teri’s girlfriend left her not long after the divorce was finalized. Teri told Jesse she had made a terrible mistake and asked him to take her back.

It’s too late, he said. He was already engaged to someone else.

Since then, Teri has dated a string of men. None has quite stuck.

Naturally, this family history has been much in mind since the end of my marriage. Mine was the second divorce in my family, and my marriage was also ended at the wife’s behest.

“She’s going to regret this,” Mom says of my ex, “Just like Teri did.”

“Maybe so,” I say. “And if so, just as in that case, it will be too late.”

Mom nods. “Good. You can do better.”

The conversation with my niece and nephew must have brought those thoughts home. Thoughts of Teri brought her into my dreams.

I suppose that if I were going to have sex dreams with a family member, it was commendable that my subconscious had the decency to switch dials from my niece and nephew to their mother.

In the dream, I was giving Teri a tour of a house my parents had recently purchased. It was large, ancient and utterly devoid of furniture. “Kind of drafty,” Teri said, shivering.

“If you are cold, I can show you a little secret to this house,” I said. “But you have to keep it between us.”

“Oh, I’m curious,” she smiled. “Show me.”

“You promise to keep it secret?”

“I do.”

I bit my lip. “Okay then, follow me.” I led her into the butler’s pantry and opened a closet door. “This way,” I said, reaching for her hand.

We descended a dark staircase, entering a sauna. “Hey, that’s a nice surprise,” she said.

“Isn’t it? I love a sauna.”

I opened the door and led her into the steam. When my vision adjusted, I could see that the sauna was full of nude men. Some were touching one another. All noticed us standing there, fully clothed.

“Oh!” Teri exclaimed, her hand rising to her mouth.

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly. “This must be men’s day. Come on, let’s go this way.”

I led Teri into a room with plastic mats on the floor. I recognized it as a swinger club.

I only vaguely recollect the rest of the dream. It had to do with me fending off advances from entreating couples as I led Teri in search of the staircase upstairs.

I awoke and lay in bed, wondering at the occasional transparence of dreams.

Teri, so far as I know, is the only other member of my birth family to have any experience with bisexuality. Yet our experiences are so different that there is no reason for me to expect that she would understand my current life better than any other family member.

That following evening, we took Lynn back to her mother’s house. Teri came out to say hello to me and my kids. I stepped out of the car to hug her neck.

“Well, you look great,” she said, pulling me close. “You’re getting some sun.”

“Why thank you, I feel pretty. And you look as lovely as ever!”

“No, no, I’m fat! Look at me”

“Nonsense, you are wasting away, you scrawny thing,”” I said. “You need to get some meat on those bones. Now come over here and say hey to the kids.”

It felt familiar to indulge in this exchange, so common among reuniting Southerners.

Teri leaned into the car and cooed at each of my children in turn. Lynn reminded the kids that this was her mother. Teri reached around the car seats to hug my Mom and Dad.

“My goodness,” she said, standing to face me. “Your babies are so big! I feel so old.”

“Tell me,” I replied, my arm on Lynn’s shoulder. “I’ve been hanging out with this one, you know.”

We talked about our growing children for a bit before my kids grew restless. “We should get going to eat,” Mom called.

I kissed Lynn’s cheek and stepped forward to hug Teri goodbye.

“Keep in touch,” she whispered into my ear. “We’re still family, you know.”

I buried my face in her hair and kissed her neck. “Bye, Sis.”

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