Lesbian Bookstore

It was like discovering the word draped. Nothing before that night and nothing after that night would ever drape the way these women draped themselves all over that apartment.

They draped themselves halfway out the window, like half-smoked cigarettes; paid no mind to streetwalkers staring up at them. They draped themselves over radiators like it was nothing; skin, grate, skin, grate, skin, grate. They draped on each other, draped on rugs, draped on the floor. One woman somehow draped on a wall. I did not know you could even drape on a wall.

They draped as if their entire bodies were full, hanging breasts. Draped themselves right out of their dresses, their vests, their sleeveless turtle necks. I also hadn’t worn a bra, but my crochet top was so scratchy that underneath it my nipples felt like they could just bleed and bleed.

One woman squirmed a little on the floor in front of me. She was so preoccupied with herself that it was safe to observe her unabashed. Her lashes were the longest I’d ever seen and you could tell she wanted her picture taken. I pretended I was the only one who truly understood her and it made her that much more endearing. I didn’t take her picture though, cause I wanted to keep watching her twist in anticipation.

One woman was hunched over herself on the floor, chest atop bended knees, face talking loudly into the rug rather than turned upward to be heard. I believe she was very high and, though I was not as high and wished a little that I’d gone out on the fire escape earlier so that I too might be hunched over myself on the floor talking loudly into the rug to be heard, I wasn’t annoyed with her. She was cute and didn’t have a job so she spent all her time reading. She liked all the same words as me and it was fun to listen to her talk but not too much.

Two other women mentioned that they share a boyfriend. They have sex with him right here in this very room and they talk about it like it’s NBD, like it’s NOT the coolest thing to happen to their young social circle. One of them had a buzzcut and a bright red tutu and I can’t make this shit up. They told their story but left out the best parts. We can read about it in their memoirs.

I want to stay forever in that lazy, hazy embryo of a rent controlled apartment full of women who spill their words all over the carpet and drape their limbs over everything in reach. To be surrounded by women — squirmy women, high as a kite women, women who love the same man and still love each other women — to be surrounded by women wearing nothing but the soft, orange light of a Himalayan salt lamp — that is it for me.