A Crucial Lack

We’d gathered in this tiny AC-ed room, my queer and otherwise friends, engaged in the taxing art of small talk. ‘Can’t do it,’ one of us points out emphatically, ‘my flatmates are,’ significant gap, knowing looks, and then one notch lower, ‘lesbians. And they hate men.’

My eyes popped out, fortunately into the glass I’d just raised to my lips and to my eternal credit I did not chuckle. Poor soul, I had for once the opportunity to think, she’s the only one here who doesn’t know she’s sitting next to two lesbians!

Our mostly straight friends in the know shifted around, tried to make it better. There was a time I would have jumped at such an opening. Now I find myself tired. They, however, felt compelled to do something about it. Nobody likes to be caught trespassing when it comes to the tricky territory of political correctness so our lady of the many blunders upped and said, ‘I’ve nothing against them. I’m fine. It’s just that they do hate men.’ The point was entirely lost on her.

So I sniffed at my glass of Antiquity and did a headcount. There’s A, whose best friend is a man and who’d much rather be watching football with the guys than bonding over embroidery; there’s B, whose second best friend is a man; there’s C who’s rather on the homo-social side, but seems to take men in her stride—maybe it’s all those years of training in ahimsa; there’s me—and I think most men are painful beasts but then so are most women. Maybe, I say, I know all the wrong lesbians. Maybe the fact that I am one is not apparent to our blunder lady here, because I go around behaving all wrong by not engaging all my time in hating men. Then, by the same standards, do all straight women hate other women? And straight men other men? And gay men women? What about, the imp inside complains, the poor bisexuals? Who do they get to hate, is what I want to know.

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Sadly, I am (not) what I am: voracious reader, consumer of coffee, chocolate and fine wine (yes, mine is a dry state!), possible writer once in a while and mad Sandman fan. Brilliant at running and hiding every now and again, used to tiptoeing around everyone's silences. Still among naphtha balls at the very bottom of the closet.

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