Monday, May 11, 2009

CHARMED LIVES & TROUBLED SOULS:
Of Imaginary Closets, Beautiful Nerd Girls, and Things We Hide Sometimes, in Plain Sight, from the "Religious"

OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- When she was young, other kids teased her for being flat-chested and lanky and awkward, for being tomboyish and uninterested in dolls or tea parties with imaginary princes, for being a bona fide, honest-to-God dork.

In high school, she was the smart girl, trapped halfway between being stereotyped as her school's cute but intimidating stuck-up bitch and arrogant, smart-ass Nerd Queen.

Her friends were all older, all went to other schools or were in college. Her parents overbearing, her mother a veritable control-freak of a life planner. She lettered in two sports she hated, just because her father scared her into thinking colleges only took the smart, beautiful, AND athletic...

She was quite popular with kids in her school, sure, but after a half-dozen or so jocks, cool kids, and preppy chachballs, she finally figured out her popularity was tied to her willingness to go farther than going down on somebody in a dark movie theater.

Being one of the few girls in your conservative Christian high school who failed to buy into such silly things as Promise Rings and Abstinence Pledges, well, tends to lead to such popularity - even if those equally self-righteous, pious kids refused to even say hi in the hallways or at church after sex in hot tubs and in parked cars.

And at night, alone in her bedroom, surrounded by college application essays and AP Exam practice guides, she'd huddle beneath her bedsheets late at night, well after her folks and her siblings fell asleep, she'd read about all sorts of interesting, forbidden things, in books and magazines mostly, since her parents monitored her Internet access and had installed filtering software on her MacBook.

She read Hunter S. Thompson's Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas in a few hours, Charles Bukowski's Women in one night, and William Burroughs' Naked Lunch in two.

And actually, all through college, she's been keeping those controversial literature juices flowing. She even picked up two of her new favorite authors - Michelle Tea & Amelie Nothromb - on the recommendation of some fucking shithead librarian she's been cyberstalking (joke) since her second semester.

Smart girl. Well-read. Downright oozing with sex and sultry feminine bravado. A prototypical female college student living in the 21st century.

But, in all honesty, she wouldn't be a Local U. student if she weren't driven by something unseen, rebelling in secret, living some sort of lie.

That's the myth of the Public Ivy university - everything looks ancient and traditional and conservative on the surface but beneath the decaying brick facades, on the other side of the creeping vines, at the edge of the higher education darkness...

* * * *

"And -- Ohmygod, have you ever read 'Keeping You a Secret?' It's by Julie...something...Peters. Fucking awesome."

She picks up the bottle of wine, pours me a third glass and herself a fourth. We're on our second bottle. It's 4:18 in the morning, a Saturday, and we've only been talking in her living room for a half hour.

At least one of her roommates is already home, upstairs in bed. And from the sounds of it, well, she brought home something from the bars to play with - squeaks and muffled giggles creep down the stairs.

"The first girl I was with," she whispers, "bought it for me, then turned out to be a fucking bitch so I quit reading it the first time. It was right before I came here..."

Her voice trails off as she stands up, grins, and twirls with her arms outstretched.

"...Here to LOVELY MOTHERFUCKING OXFORD FUCKING OHIO."

Hey, if there's one place in the world that can possibly create the world's most entertainingly cynical closeted lesbians, it'd be Oxford Fucking Ohio.

* * * *

"so... okay. I'm fucking drunk."

"Really, chica?" I feign shock like buzzards feign disinterest in roadkill. My host snickers.

"Oh yeah. Fucking wasted, dude. Too bad you don't smoke..."

I take out another Marlboro Virginia Blend, offer her one, light them both.

"Chica, see. I smoke. But being clean for a decade means I only smoke tobacco."

She inhales long on the cigarette, kills off her wine as she exhales into her glass. Pure sex. One hundred and ten percent. And with a body like hers, a brain, well... the lesbian community's lucky to--

"You know, I'm not a closetcase. Fuck, I go to Lexington and Columbus sometimes. Really cool scenes. I just can't fucking stand the bitches here or Cincinnati, ya know? The fucking hipsters..."

"Hey, straight dudes are in the same boat, chica."

"Yeah, but it's different. It's not like the chicks you hook up with around here ever text you to march in some fucking pride parade the next day."

She leans forward over the ratty, textbooks-and-bills covered coffee table, grabs the third bottle of wine. She knocks over my glass, right onto my first two napkins full of notes and quotes. Fortunately, I've been playing catch-up; only a thimbleful of shitty drugstore burgundy spoils the ballpoint ink...

Only lost half a paragraph, but, well, to sum up for you, dear reader, the conversation veered off into the realm of sex toys, lubricant, fingers, and fists.

Think you get the picture.

* * * *

She never did the whole GLBT student group thing, for the same reason she doesn't go trolling for women in Oxford, Dayton, or Cincinnati bars - a lot of Lesbians Until Graduation, a lot of really hot girls to make out with after last call, but, well, it's just not her bag.

"You'd be surprised how many lesbians here are just as fucking annoyed gay dudes as straight guys," she pauses to crush out her cigarette and open a window. "...kinda like the drag queen boy scouts."

And finally, I hit the tough question.

I ask when she plans on telling her roommates. After all, they've lived together a whole year. They must at least suspect...?

"Okay, look, love 'em to death but they're kinda dense. We've been friends since last year. They think I'm just kinda bi.

"And they're both really fucking religious and shit. Like Catholic religious."

Drunk, I feel myself fall off the ratty student-shabby loveseat.

Within seconds, I'm rolling on the floor, clutching my head - I caught the corner of the coffee table with my skull. My sides hurt. I can't breathe.

Every time I try to stop laughing, to catch my breath even for a moment, I hear that same giggling, followed by moaning, drifting down from upstairs, the religious sounds of "Oh God! Oh FUCK! OhYESFUCKMEYES!" praise and worship songs coming from some unseen bedroom directly above me.

* * * *

In all fairness, she gave me the finger as she shut the door on me as I left at sunrise.

"Dude, if you make me out to be some lipstick in the closet, I'll cut your dick off."

"So... can I make fun of your roommate's prayer groups? And is the other one that cute and 'religious?'"

Again, another one fingered salute. And a wink.

Best one night stand with a hot, NOT lipstick-in-the-closet lesbian in ages.

And trust me, this here dispatch is probably by far the strangest graduation gift any student has ever asked for and received from a local (hetero) librarian.

- # # # -

4 comments:

Ellie said...

That's cool.

Coyotemike said...

She wasn't threatening to cut off your dick to be mean. She just wants you to be a woman.

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