I rummaged frantically through my backpack for the house keys and instead found the key to open the door to my previous apartment, a band aid, a box of matches and lighter, sanitary pads…basically everything but the house keys. It was that kind of a day! While I stood there gaping at the door and contemplating hurling myself from the rooftop, the door magically opened from within. Fine! It was not magic…it was Philomena.
“Oh…it’z you” mumbled Philomena and rushed back inside.
I checked my surroundings again. Yup! Still my place.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, following her into the bedroom.
“I had a huge fight with Baby zo I thought we could go out and party” replied Philomena from under the covers.
Baby is not a term of endearment in this case. Philomena’s unfortunate husband is actually named Baby, and I feel an involuntary rush of love for my parents whenever I hear her say his name.
“Oye…ztop ztanding there and thinking happy thoughtz at your parentz. Are there any partiez happening tonight?” demanded Philomena.
“Gay parties? Maybe…you want me to check?” I asked.
“No. I azked zo you could zpecifically not check and juzt ignore the queztion altogether” she responded sarcastically.
Well…someone was in a mood tonight! So I tapped into the lesbian network and found out that there was a party indeed happening in town. Philomena finally got out from under the covers and proceeded to raid my closet (Don’t you know? We all have one of those.) for something she called “queer wear”.
“Do you remember the first queer party that we both went to around ten years back?” I asked nostalgically.
Retro Flashback… 10 years ago
I had just come out to a few friends and colleagues and was feeling on top of the world. Philomena was my roommate at that time and we decided that I should celebrate my ‘one small step for a queer…is a giant leap for queerdom’ situation with other queer strangers in queerdom. We perused the internet with great alacrity and found the one queer party in town. Then we started to worry about what to wear.
“I am going to drezz up az a butch and you can wear zomething girly” suggested Philomena still rampaging through my closet. (Remember…this was ten years ago and stereotypes and labels were floating around liberally and literally everywhere.)
“It’s a GAY party and not a drag party. I am going as myself” I declared.
“Iz that wize? You remember what happened when you were yourzelf in our firzt year in college?”
Oh, for God’s sake! Why won’t anyone ever let me forget my first attempt at trying to impress a girl that I liked?
More Flashback…How to lose a girl in 30 seconds!
It was my first time in an all girls’ college and I was delirious with joy at the prospect of being surrounded by so much estrogen all the time. So I met a girl from my class and promptly fell in love with her in three days (like all good lesbians do) and on the third day stood gazing at her longingly until a speck of dust went inside one eye. It was exactly like my mother said, “If your mouth is hanging open, something is bound to get inside.” (She meant a fly or some other insect…you dirty minded people!!!)
I stood there with one fist in my eye and my other good eye staring fixatedly on the object of my affection, who burdened by the one-eyed stare, felt compelled to approach me and asked me if she could help in any way. Now…most of you would surely have found something smooth, original and witty to say at that point but all I could manage was, “There is something in my rectum.” Gah!!!
The poor girl opened her mouth and shut it again. Yeah..she could not find any words either. She finally managed to say “Um…something in your…..?” I suppose she was hoping that the problem was with her hearing.
“Rectum. Rectum.” I said pointing wildly at my eyes unable to shut the hell up.
Yes folks! I said it thrice! Just in case she didn’t get it the first time. Whaaaat??? It’s never happened to any of you???
Philomena came to my rescue and said gently to my could-have-been first girlfriend, “Zhe meanz retina. “ And then once again for emphasis, “RE-TI-NA.”
“Ah…yes…I…ummm” and the object of my abject humiliation fled from the scene taking with her my two month future plan of first time lesbian sex, exchanging of rings and adopted kids.
Back to the Retro Flashback!
“Fine. So, maybe I won’t talk at all. I could stand around holding a drink and shooting smouldering looks.”
Philomena gave this some thought. “That could work. But ztand up ztraight and don’t zlouch. It’z a miracle that you get any action at all!” she ordered.
*Next week on PART TWO: Philomena and QY hit their first queer party in Retro Flashback mode!