Friday, December 29, 2006

Point-Counter Point

This post is a response to my friend, and I am proud to call her my friend, Carrie Link's post. Take a look at it. It's a great post as always,, MAYBE IN MY NEXT LIFE
After reading it, I called to mind my experience with the "other team." If you have read any of my posts, you will discover that my life has been anything but normal, nor have I. With this in mind, I decided to write what the opposing team sometimes encounters.
As I sat in the Atticus Cafe drinking coffee many years ago with my gay Serbo-Croatian dancer friend, I couldn't help but notice out of the corner of my eye, one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. She seemed to be speaking French and using the most lovely hand gestures I had ever seen. She was a tall, dark haired woman with hair down to her waist dressed in a great tweed jacket with jeans, a button down collar striped shirt and brown leather boots. Simply stunning.
My friend and I were discussing my lack of choosing the "right women" to have relationships with. He was badgering me about not being a good judge of character. True, I had picked some winners in the past year and he proceeded to remind me.
I had a brief encounter with a woman twice my age who I met in a French restaurant in New York. We had been sitting across the aisle from each other and had struck up a conversation. She was wearing a styish brim hat adorned with flowers and a lovely v-necked dress with pearls. As the drinks and the converstion progressed, so did my acceptance of meeting her for a date at the Lone Star Cafe in New York the next week for drinks and dinner. What could I lose?
Little did I know that when she stood up to go and hopped off a booster seat, that she was about 3' high. She was a "little person." This in no way made any difference to me. I had grown up with midgets, which is what they were called in the 1950's, at the White Tower Restaurant. I was chided by the straight friend I was with for not noticing she was a little person in the first place. No matter to me. The next week I took the train into New York and as I sat at the bar of the Lone Star cafe awaiting Madge's arrival, the front door burst open and I heard a very boisterous voice yell out, "Well folks, tonight the highballs are on me." Yes, it was Madge. She had the voice of a 9' giant. She saw me and sauntered over to the bar with her cane and said loudly, " Come on Suzy Q- lift me up on this stool and we'll start the night." I don't think it was my imagination that the entire bar and restaurant area became silent. Madge then proceeded to order a drink, with what became part of her mantra that night, "And make it a tall one," she would exclaim loudly, laughing a guttural belly laugh.
After slamming back a few drinks and bantering with the bar tender about the "shortfalls" of his job, Madge ordered me to help her off the stool and proceed to our dinner table.
The loud barrage of short jokes continued from Madge. Her questions to the waiter as to who the "short order" cook was to how "short changed" she was lately and what "petite fours" the restaurant ordered. I was fucking dying.
When Madge wasn't performing her monlogue of short jokes, she was regaling me with her descriptions of her butterfly and bird collection of which she had 1000 slides and would I come to her apartment after dinner to look at them and possibly help her cataglog them. I was hoping someone would stab me with a fork and wake me from this nightmare.
The last straw was after dinner. She ordered brandy for the both of us and then lit up a cigar and proceeded to talk and blow the cigar smoke in my face. I did what any other lesbian, straight person or martian would do. I politely excused myself went to the bathroom and snuck out the front door when her head was turned, and took the short train ride home to CT.
I also decided to have a relationship with a woman who was pursuing me. She was lovely. She was a martial artist of the highest ranking, again much older than myself. She also had 3 husbands, 2 of which committed suicide. I think the really scary thing was the machete collection she had hanging over her bed. Talk about fear of performance....
While listening to my friend remind me of the close encounters I've had, I remarked to him how lovely the French woman was in the cafe sitting across from us. He glanced over briefly in her direction, looked at me and said, "What the fuck is your problem." "She's not French, she's a deaf mute and she is signing." Ok, I'm a little slow on the uptake.
Several weeks after this I was at the Yale Women's Center looking at postings on their bulletin board for some sort of get togethers for gay profeesional women. One posting caught my eye. It read, 'Music & Mutes." It turns out that there is this contingent of mute lesbian women that met every two weeks at the Howard Johnson Motel Conference Center in Waterbury CT. I was there!! I had known mutes at the White Tower and they were lovely.
I show up right on time at Ho Jo's and notice a sign that the Music & Mutes had been moved to the pool area. Great- it was summer and sitting by the pool, listening and dancing to music with a bunch of women seemed the place to be.
As I approaced the pool, I saw the group sitting around the tables, gesturing and signing. Music was blaring, but I guess it didn't matter. They could hear the beat, but not the words.
As I tried to mingle, I began to see just how difficult it was being the outsider and the minority. I couldn't understand them and they couldn't understand me, but they understood each other. Feeling uncomfortable. I went to my car and came back with pen and paper. Bad move. No one wanted to write anything. The dancing was worse. They were dancing to the beat, and I was dancing to the tune. I looked like the one completely out of step.
One of the very last attempts I made to "socialize" was to hang around a bar that was called the Niche in another little pit town in Connecticut. That ended abruptly one night as the woman I had been dancing close with all night informed me after I had asked her what was sticking into my side while we danced, was a gun she always carried. No, she wasn't a cop. She was just a woman who owned an oil company and carried the gun at all times because you"just never knew."
So Miss Carrie. There you have it from my side.