"What's up?" she asked.
"What isn't!?" I laughed,
we haven't talked since she moved to Portland in August '06.
When I leapt into the the city I knew Amelia was living here with her girlfriend. I knew I needed to make her, and possibly her girlfriend, the base of what I hoped would become a community, to help me get grounded in the large new city and sexuality I would try calling home. I found myself talking a lot when she and I would get together for beers, or cigarettes, or poetry, or a combination of the three. Her house smelled like all my favorite homes from hills by the woods. I clung to the roots she represented, in my heart, of home.
I used to whine to her about nobody knowing I'm gay, about not looking gay, about not knowing how to approach women, and all the other angsty shit that one encounters when first engendering a new way of being. She helped me turn old office skirts into bar wear with the swipe of scissors, she cut my hair short, and reminded me why rolling your own cigarettes is a smarter choice. I ran with her, to catch buses in sub-zeros, and played darts in smoky Silvie's while she related the unimaginable things that she faced as a dula for inner-city teen moms. When she left for the west coast I told her I wouldn't know what to do. We'd barely known each other 6 months and she was the closest thing I had to home.
From Skin, by Dorothy Allison:
"since I first realized what it would mean to my life to be queer. Home is what I have always wanted--the trust that my life, my love, does not betray those I need most, that they will not betray me."
This yearning fear has been a constant for me, when navigating the ebb and flow, or implosion, of relationships with women. When I began absorbing consciously what the world was saying, at age 7, that culture tore off all the wisdom the pack of women who'd been raising me had instilled and I became homeless in a way. The women, I intrinsically knew I needed, disappeared and were replaced with beauty queens and weight loss groups for 'fat' kids. The children in these groups, ages 9-12, were always girls with their mothers. I was in these kinds of groups, dieting without conviction, for 10 years until I finally gave up my body image for waste.
I have had 1 girl best friend. I didn't realize how strongly I loved her until 5 years after she announced she was moving to California with her boyfriend, two weeks before we were to reunite for our sophomore year of college. I felt mortally betrayed by her and was depressed and bitter for months.
I have had girlfriends, the first one I implored to understand why I wasn't comfortable with kissing her in the small town bar I'd been straight in for the 4 years preceding.
Many of the women I have loved, I have also feared.
I fear she will find something in me she dislikes and leave. I fear she will find someone more exciting or fulfilling and leave. I fear she will think I am too needy or too distant, too loud or too deaf to her language. They all do leave me eventually and create again the same hole that I feel every month when I realize again the meaning of despair: not sadness or depression, but separation from that which I know to be my sustaining home.