When love is a battlefield and no one can be trusted.
Once upon a time in the nineties: I was a Bipolar sex addict. Neck spike vinyl skirt seductress. Chasing tail at the punk house party. Scabies be damned. Deep eye contact from across the room. Look down flirtatiously. Moves to get any man in the room into my bed. If only for the night.
I instinctually knew how to chat these simple drummers into my bedroom. Talking of sculptures and oil paintings in my red painted boudoir. Purposefully taking the only chair in the room. So they must sit on my dirty sheeted mattress on the floor. When the time was right move to the bed. The rest is history. So many forgotten nights drunk on PBR like Polaroid pictures.
In San Francisco I am a disco dolly playgirl tasting the cities many nose candy flavors. I wore below tit scoop neck disco tops. Taking home man after boy in scarves from sparkling nightclubs. I was the cocaine crazed disco queen of the spangled dance floor in sequin tube tops and a white rabbit fur jacket. High heels in tight boots. So long ago.
Twelve years of marriage and serial monogamy. Widowed by a suicidal woman seven years ago. Still obsessively devoted to her memory. Three years of nun-like celibacy.
Poking technology in the trenches for year? Without speaking to anyone but my family in Reno? A crimeless mafia of womb to tomb blood alliances? They do not, will not, can not tell me what Internet dating forces me to realize: I am minor league famous as a literary sex symbol. Topless painting on a Deluge magazine cover. Manically created YouTube videos of lingerie poetry readings. Jet Set Desolate at it’s ten year anniversary? A polymorphous wank bank period piece. Whatever idealized fame I yearned for typing away in my San Francisco shared room? CalArts saturation? Hollywood kool aid I drank in ten years of striving? Be careful what you wish for.
I sleep in a Wicked Shirts T reading “Deal with the Devil.” The conscious selling of my soul for security and safety under the solar eclipse of 2017? Only icing on the cupcake. Of a myriad of unconscious, perhaps nonconsensual Devil’s bargains leading me to this place. When the Illuminati tried to recruit me. They offered me what I already had. 2019 would be the year of hot lesbian love, I vowed. Suddenly I felt ready to date again. Took off my diamond wedding rings I still wore like a queer Miss Havisham. Hid them away. Like a middle aged divorcée, I re entered the dating wilderness.
Reno is a different ball game. My Hollywood six is a Reno ten. Despite resin blackened bottom tooth. Living situation so unusual, many I message with cannot not wrap their minds around it. Psychiatrically disabled heiress? Freely giving away Internet entertainment for love of craft? My nature is to give back to society how I can in my endless thankfulness for this survival.
New Years Eve 2019. I text a trusted male cis het cousin currently successful in romance. He directs me to download iPhone dating apps. I cruise them for three days. Unicorn hunt. I know what I want: My dead wife 2.0. The tragedy of her sudden suicide shatters me to the bone. I don’t know if I can withstand again the intensity of emotion women invoke in me. Risk such devastating heartbreak again. Do I dare? Emboldened by Top Tomato lips. Leather jacket. Schizoaffective mania. I feel ready. I am so wrong. I find ecstasy in warm wetness. Reckless fun. Adventure. Unwilling medication withdrawals. Bittersweet as Fernet shots with ginger backs I sip. Cruising Frisco Discos. Flipping open my Nokia to dial up a wingman.
Lesbian dating has changed vastly in twenty years. I search for three days before choosing the one to pursue. Go on dates with three women. No Gold Stars. All bisexual at one point in their lives. Differing from the cliquey bi phobia that used to cut me off from lesbian dating. I respect the women I met. Feel no ill will for our time and their disappearance. Sometimes it was mutual. The last woman’s good heart it pains me to break.
One date simply said, “Eat the rich.” Duly noted. Written off. Was she the babe whose class war justified theft? I will never know. Despite having all their faces and bodies on the security camera monitoring my door. Just because a capacity exists does not mean it should be exercised. I close ranks. Broken costume jewelry and a few pills isn’t enough to bring in the Reno 911. They are far too busy shoveling overdosed junkies to the morgue. Handling real crime involving Nevada legal firearms. I respect their time. Acknowledge my own errors. Wouldn’t bother them unless I found a corpse. Keep this in house.
A week passes. I run out of Klonopin four days early. The same amount of Klonopin I left in my pillbox on the medicine cabinet shelf white Internet dating. Experience the now routine potentially fatal withdrawals. Realize the potential connection. Did one of these winsome strangers swipe my controlled substance meds? Possible. I hid the bulk of pills away with the diamonds and pearls. I got off easy if that was all that was stolen.
Jasper is scheduled to drive me to pick up my Klonopin the day it is ready. Can she be trusted, after all? I have a history of trusting the wrong people to my doom. When people tell you who they are, believe them. I overlook Jasper’s rough edges before. Is that flashy white car she does not drive well even hers? I am overcome with suspicion in cold paranoid clarity. The night before the fateful medicine pick up that will restore my health? Nightmare after nightmare. Sketchy strangers drifting in and out of my House of the Rising Sun. Looting it of priceless heirlooms and jewels to pawn for drug money.
I gave Jasper a copy of my decade old debut. Recognize that now I am once again in the position I was in the beginning of that downward spiral. I know where that path goes. This ancestral home is my last chance. Knowing the risks? I must guard myself against plunder at the expense of fun and pleasure. Terrified in blue sheeted bed under the super full wolf blood moon. I lock the chastity belt. Rebuild walls and high hedges of thorns once more.
That day, I do not text Jasper back. Take my usual Lyft to CVS pharmacy to get the Klonopin as traditional. The driver knows my name and home address. Waits around the corner to drive me home. I recognize my predictability. Vulnerability. Despite knee high combat boots over tight Adidas leggings. Leather jacket? Bejeweled cat collar? White wife beater tank top? Fashion statements of sexual identity and desired tough facade only.
Inside I am as sweet and malleable as the buttercream cupcake frosting we did not eat together. Pure and sweet as the white sugar sauce on breakfast cake we devoured. Snow outside. Alone in this Wild Wild West?
So be it. Rough town. Aren’t they all? Truly.
I break up with Jasper over text the kindest way I know how. Say it’s nothing personal, she seems awesome, I just must remain alone. I came. I saw. I conquered. Fundamentally, it was not enough. The unicorn equal of my dead wife? Perhaps she did not exist in Reno. I deleted these apps leaving behind a broken hearted butch. Dreams of twilight years lesbian love died.
”Looking for love in all the wrong places,” as Johnny Lee sings. I realize dating apps are the same random dregs as the clubs and bars I spent my youth in. Sequins and cocaine did not find me the millennial love I desired
In American Horror Story: Coven, witch Zoe Benson says, “This world may not be safe for a girl like me. But perhaps I am not safe for this world either.” I leave behind not the bloody brain aneurysms Zoe does in those my body touches, but broken hearts bleeding out painfully. Like frozen raspberries melting on a white linen cloth. A cocktail that will never be drunk. The women are gone. I ache.
Blood on the ice. My heart freezes inside my chest once more. Outside is only snow. Inside I am safe.